Making & Unmaking, curated by Duro Olowu (b. 1965, Lagos), is the latest in our series of artist-selected shows. Duro Olowu is a celebrated fashion designer whose bold innovations with pattern, colour and shape reveal his early influences living between Nigeria and Europe, and his ongoing fascination with the world. His fluency with diverse aesthetics can be seen in the clothes he makes as well as the exhibitions he has curated, which combine antique textiles with his own fabric designs, bringing together discordant colours and patterns alongside disparate cultural forms.
Filling all three galleries, the Central Space, Reading Room and Garden, this exhibition draws together over 70 artists from around the world spanning this century and the last, including 19th century textiles made by unknown hands. Individually, each work has a story to tell; collectively, they begin a conversation in which visual, narrative and thematic relationships unfold. This eclectic collage of works, some of which have strong political undercurrents, addresses issues surrounding cultural identity, sexuality and the representation of the body. Olowu’s exhibition invites a multifaceted journey of encounters with the intuition, skill and vision of the artists represented within it.