grace wales bonner launches a new zine at london's frieze art fair
The designer reimagines her spring/summer 16 mood board as 'Everythings For Real Volume II' -- a collaged world of imagery and prose.
Throughout her work, Grace Wales Bonner repeats the words of poets and thinkers that have long inspired her. But rather than mimic the likes of Moten, Hemphill and Baldwin's declarations and prose, she stitches her words from linen, velvet, mother of pearl and silks. Her exploration of black struggle is no less moving and no less powerful. But here, the pages of Everythings for Real Volume II celebrate the 100% world that inspires her. Providing a reference point to Malik, her acclaimed spring/summer 16 collection, Wales Bonner's second zine (produced in collaboration with Ditto Press) dances to the the rhythm of black love and traces the the ripples of blackness across the Indian Ocean. To be enjoyed long after the James William Blades soundscape faded across Grace's ICA presentation back in June and as we await for the collection to land in stores, the found imagery, ephemera, prose and poetry of this publication let you see through her mind's eye. Grace talked us through the process of creating the zine.
"A lot of the imagery is collected from first-hand sources, out of print books and a large library of printed material I collected in Ghana, like washed out DVDs, romantic pamphlets, gin sachets and homemade mix tapes. We really study the found material and observe how it's put together. It's also about thinking about the vernacular of these materials and using that to communicate something in my own way," Grace said. "Alongside the more playful elements, like a manual I found on "how to kiss your love" in Accra, the book is collaged alongside more serious black literature."
"As a theme I was looking at the idea of a black rhythmicality that underpins black love - Fred Moten's work as well James Baldwin and Essex Hemphill's work were really important to this aspect of the texts," the designer said of her written influences. "I also interspersed the book with academic and more sporadic reflections on the African diaspora in the Indian Ocean, so there are two parts to the research. The casing of the book itself is a more modern reflection on that in the similarities between Bollywood and Nollywood cultures. Like the soundscape, and the collection, the book becomes a collage of all my inspiration, some of it serious, some of it more playful. I try to create an abstraction through these found artefacts and voices to create a new narrative."
Everythings For Real Volume II will be available for purchase from the ICA, Serpentine Gallery and 1:54 African Art Fair, as well as through Ditto Press from Wednesday, October 13.