Water Carry Me Go: Seven fashion designers explore water for FNLROM and Harbourfront exhibitions

Tonight at FNLROM , fashion-art exhibit Water Carry Me Go debuts as a performance art piece with live mannequins. Curated by Chinedu Ukabam, seven designers were commissioned to create designs based on the Nigerian expression, “If I am lying may the water carry me and go.”

Designers travelled to Canada from Brazil, Trinidad, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda and the UK to “explore water in different ways: water as a passage, a cause of displacement and the origin of mythology.”

Nkwo Onwuka’s Boats To Nowhere honours the thousands of migrants who drowned, crossing from Africa to Europe in recent years, searching for a better life. Sundiso Khumalo’s A Woman’s Work symbolizes the work African women do bringing water to villages from sources miles away. The curator’s own The Offering is inspired by a tale of fisherman who offers a gift to Mami Wata the water spirit believed to be Queen of the Sea, in exchange for her blessing and protection before embarking on a dangerous journey across the sea.

“I chose to do my show in Toronto because it’s multicultural,” says Ukabam, a British-born Nigerian who has lived in Toronto for more than 20 years. “The designers in my show could easily find a home here.”

Not going to make it to FNL ROM? See a tour and presentation tomorrow (February 6) at 1 pm at Harbourfront Centre’s Kuumba Festival.

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