Monday, 2 May 2011

The Gallery of Costume, Manchester

While doing my research on Cotton growing in West Africa I came across a very interesting exhibition in The Gallery of Costume based in Manchester.

The exhibition  called " Tailor, Singer, Striker, Dandy" created by Lubaina Himid evolves around cotton production in West African countries. It explores extremely provocative issues about black identity in general through appearance and clothes.

For her research Himid selected cotton fabrics from West African textile collection.
The display consists of four themes, which Lubaina Himid describes in more detail:


This is the person who knows how to make the best of the human figure or to reveal a good one, to give elegance of line and to permit movement without disturbance to the actual look, style and fit of the costume. For me, the Tailor is like an architect for the body; how our clothes feel on the inside is as important as how they look on the outside. How we feel on the inside is what makes us act in a particular way in the world.


This is the person who goes for goal, the one who takes the risks, the one with responsibility for winning the match, winning the cup and winning the battle for survival. The Striker is the warrior, the leader, the fighter, the person who makes quick and precise decisions flamboyantly and with exceptional bravado.


This is the person who writes the poetry and songs, tells the stories, remembers the histories, makes sure that the truth is told; passed down from the elders to the young and then written down. Sometimes the Singer imitates the sounds of nature, the birds, the water, the rush of the wind and the dash of the rain in order to make sure the tale is told.


This is the person who is not afraid to be seen as elegant and bold, charming, eloquent and strategic. The Dandy understands how everything is structured and designed and is always aware of how everything looks.

For more info on the exhibition and its author, please follow the below link

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