Ibrahim Mahama Purple Hibiscus

Thursday, May 30, 2024 - Sunday, August 18, 2024 Barbican Centre Silk Street, London EC2Y 8DS

A new artwork by Ibrahim Mahama transforms our Lakeside Terrace, enveloping the building’s iconic concrete walls with approximately 2000 square metres of bespoke woven cloth.

Purple Hibiscus has been created in collaboration with hundreds of craftspeople from Tamale in Ghana where the colossal panels of pink and purple fabric have been woven and sewn by hand, to be fitted to the brutalist planes of our building.

100 ‘batakaris’ – robes worn by Ghanaian kings – are embroidered onto the artwork. Often saved by families over generations, these precious textiles carry the imprints of the figures they once clothed, signifying the continued relevance of intergenerational knowledge. Ibrahim Mahama holds a deep interest in the life cycles of textiles and what can be learnt from the historical memories embedded within them.

Purple Hibiscus is part of Unravel: The Power & Politics of Textiles in Art