If you’re in London and find yourself with a bit of time on your hands before 17 March, do not miss the opportunity to visit the Serpentine Sackler Gallery in Hyde Park. “A Time for New Dreams” is a stellar exhibition designed by Grace Wales Bonner, an award-winning British fashion designer who takes both European and African approaches to luxury designs.
Wales Bonner is known for her approach to fashion as a means to explore ideas of identify and self-expression; each of her collections are meditations on cultural narratives.
“A Time For New Dreams” explores the magic in black cultural and aesthetic practices. Equally, the exhibition is the inspiration for Wales Bonner’s Autumn/Winter2019 collection: Mumbo Jumbo, of which “spiritual” has been the operative word in its fashion reviews.
The exhibit is a stunning, large-scale showcase, with immersive mixed media and dioramas that place a strong emphasis on shrines. It’s as experiential as it is observational – while the spiritual is certainly at play, it equally felt personal, at times as if standing in someone’s living room. But the deep reflection on the black experience carries throughout; the reverence one feels in the spaces is palatable, embodied in the space by the words of Ben Okri: “All genius is black, because it works against the odds, does the impossible.”