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The Arts Intel Report

A Cultural Compass
For the World Traveler
A Cultural Compass
For the World Traveler

Unravel: The Power and Politics of Textiles in Art

Ibrahim Mahama, Purple Hibiscus, 2023–24.

Silk St, Barbican, London EC2Y 8DS, UK

Hundreds of craftspeople took part in weaving this exhibition together. For instance, the artwork Purple Hibiscus, by the Ghanaian artist Ibrahim Mahama, wraps the building’s Lakeside Terrace in 21,000 square feet of pink and purple cloth. Artisans from Tamale, in Northern Ghana, dedicated months to its construction. In the gallery, 50 textile artists have collaborated to create both intimate handmade pieces and larger structures. It’s a powerful show. Textiles, fiber, and thread—organic materials all—take on subjects of resistance, power, and survival. —Elena Clavarino

Photo courtesy of Ibrahim Mahama, Red Clay Tamale, the Barbican Centre, and White Cube