Fashion and art make waves in Water Carry Me Go
Water Carry Me Go was a ‘fashion-art’ exhibition curated by Chinedu Ukabam. A Nigerian designer based in Toronto and co-founder of SUPAFRIK, Ukabam was responsible for the contemporary African-inspired art, fashion, music, and food travelling pop-up shop and gallery.
Part of the Then and Now series for Black History Month, the exhibition was a one of a kind gathering of seven artists from Africa and the African Diaspora. These artists created works of fashion based on the theme of water. The seven artists were: Sundiso Khumalo (South Africa/UK), Carol Barreto (Bahia, Brazil), Robert Young (Trinidad and Tobago), Ashley Alexis McFarlane (Canada), Nkwo Onwuka (Nigeria/UK), Chinedu Ukabam (Nigeria/Canada) and Gloria Wavamunno (Uganda).
Each artist created a garment drawing from their cultures, histories, and realities. The garments were then showed at Toronto’s Royal Ontario Museum. In this showcase of fashionable art, contentious topics such as religion, migration, and history were broached. Water is key to many traditional African religions, in the form of the Atlantic Ocean. It also plays an important role in history as Africans were enslaved and brought to the Americas through it.
For Carol Barreto, Brazilian fashion designer, black feminist, Professor, and PhD student, Water Carry Me Go was a chance to work with water goddesses worshiped throughout Africa, the Caribbean, and Latin America: Yemoja, the Yoruba deity who is worshiped; and Mami Wata, the anglicized name referring to a number of mermaid-like goddesses.
Did you catch the Water Carry Me Go exhibition? Which were your favorite pieces? Let us know in a comment below or on Twitter @rafeeeeta