Chris Ofili
Weaving Magic
2017
Chris Ofili's work is transformed into a tapestry at The National Gallery in London
Chris Ofili
The Caged Bird's Song, 2014 - 2017 (detail)
Chris Ofili
The Caged Bird's Song, 2014 - 2017 (detail)

April 26 – August 28

Weaving Magic presents an exquisite handwoven tapestry entitled The Caged Bird's Song. The work reflects Chris Ofili's interest in classical mythology and contemporary "demigods" as well as the stories, magic, and colors of Trinidad, where he has lived since 2005. Commissioned by the historic British Clothworkers' Company, the tapestry was made in collaboration with Dovecot Tapestry Studio in Edinburgh. The exhibition will also include a series of preparatory works on paper in an installation conceived by the artist for the Gallery's Sunley Room. Following the exhibition, the tapestry will go on permanent display in the Clothworkers' Hall in London.

Ofili says, "The Caged Bird's Song is a marriage of watercolour and weaving. I set out to challenge the weaving process, by doing something free-flowing in making a watercolour, encouraging the liquid pigment to form the image, a contrast to the weaving process."

Metamorphosis: Titian 2012, Ofili's previous exhibition at the National Gallery, presented costume and set designs created in collaboration with the Royal Ballet. The project was based on Titian masterpieces depicting stories from Ovid's epic poem Metamorphoses: Diana and Actaeon, The Death of Actaeon, and Diana and Callisto.

Ofili is the subject of an extensive profile in The Observer New Review.