Imagine… Chris Ofili: The Caged Bird’s Song

Alan Yentob follows the celebrated Turner Prize winning artist Chris Ofili as he creates a spectacular contemporary tapestry over seven metres wide and three metres high.
 

Working with a team of master weavers, Ofili creates a tapestry that draws together the sights and sounds of tropical Trinidad, where he lives, with nods to both the classical world and - unexpectedly - the Italian footballer Mario Balotelli.

 

Nearly three years in the making, the final piece - The Caged Bird's Song - is a triumph of craft and dedication, transforming Ofili's free-flowing watercolour paintings into vibrant wool on a giant scale.

 

Revealing the fascinating processes behind producing a hand-woven tapestry, this film also explores Ofili's passion for his adopted island home. Since moving to Trinidad over a decade ago Ofili has experienced a creative rebirth, inspired by the natural beauty and raw power of the island, its unique colours, culture and mythology.

 

Capturing the unique energy and atmosphere of Trinidad, while following the making of the tapestry in Edinburgh, imagine… reveals the finished piece on display at a new Ofili exhibition called Weaving Magic, currently on at the National Gallery in London.

 

Visit the BBC website

 

Image: The Caged Bird's Song, 2014-2017 (detail of right panel)

Wool, cotton and viscose

© Chris Ofili

Posted 13 July 2017

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