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Many Hands                                            

As part of its exhibition entitled Unravel: The Power and Politics of Textiles in Art, London’s Barbican Center has a powerful commission by Ghanaian artist, Ibrahim Mahama, which literally wraps the façade of the center in 2000 square meters of bright pink fabric. Entitled ‘Purple Hibiscus,’ after a novel by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the textiles are an amalgamation of 100 ‘batakaris,’ which are traditional robes from Northern Ghana. Mahama collaborated with hundreds of weavers and sewing collectives from Tamale for this project. The pieces are so large that, on days when matches weren’t taking place, the artist rented the Tamale football stadium so the work could be spread out on the ground as it was sewn.