Chris Ofili: Weaving Magic

Turner Prize winner Chris Ofili unveils a new tapestry, The Caged Bird’s Song, handwoven by Dovecot Tapestry Studio. On view at The National Gallery, London, in Sunley Room, April 26 – August 28, 2017.

This exhibition Chris Ofili: Weaving Magic showcases the tapestry surrounded by fresco murals and includes the original watercolor for the exquisite handwoven piece as well as related graphic work.

Commissioned by the Clothworkers’ Company, Ofili has been collaborating with the internationally renowned Dovecot Tapestry Studio to see his design translated into a handwoven tapestry. The imagery reflects Ofili’s ongoing interest in classical mythology and the stories, magic, and color of the Trinidadian landscape he inhabits.

Ofili returns to the National Gallery following the exhibition Metamorphosis: Titian 2012. To learn more about his work, visit Chris Ofili’s gallery, David Zwirner, at:


The tapestry goes on permanent display in the Clothworkers’ Hall following this exhibition. Visit the link to the museum’s website to obtain a catalogue or plan your visit:


View an excellent discussion of the work presented by The Art Channel UK here:

Collaborating with a team of weavers from the Dovecot Studios in Edinburgh, Turner Prize winner Chris Ofili has designed a tapestry for the Clothworkers Hall, which is being shown at the National Gallery within a room lined with murals.

Inspired by the Caribbean Island of Trinidad and its folklore, the artist blends together multiple and eclectic references to the Garden of Eden, Old Master painting, cocktails and the Italian football star Mario Balotelli in a vibrant collaboration between artist and weavers. In this Art Channel film, Josh White and Grace Adam visit the show and speak to Dr Gabriele Finaldi, the Director of the National Gallery, who explains how Ofili’s contemporary art responds to and complements the permanent collection of European painting.


About The National Gallery

Located in Trafalgar Square, London, The National Gallery houses the national collection of paintings in the Western European tradition from the 13th to the 19th centuries. It is on show 361 days a year, free of charge. The Gallery aims to study and care for the collection, while encouraging the widest possible access to the pictures. Explore the collection online at:



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