Black Sunlight

Autumn Winter 2021

The concluding chapter in a trilogy of collections by Wales Bonner revealing threads between Britain and the Caribbean, Black Sunlight illuminates a world of Caribbean Thought and Black British intellectualism.

Black Oxford, which documents the long history of Black scholars at the university, formed a starting point for the research, which expanded into an exploration of diasporic radical thinkers of the 1980s. Black Sunlight reflects on a real and radiant community of scholars, poets and artists from the Caribbean, India and West Africa, whose work and writings advanced postcolonial discourse within both improvised community settings and established academic institutions.

The English language is nobody’s special property. It is the property of the imagination: it is the property of the language itself.

Derek Walcott, 1985

Guided by the expansive language of Saint Lucian poet Derek Walcott - there is eloquence, fluidity and reimagining in the crafting of the offering. A tailored sensibility is cut with ease and softness, underlying a relaxed self possession throughout the collection which, showing a balance of mens and womenswear, combines cotton cashmere oxford shirts, luxurious wool overcoats, soft shearling shawl jackets and brushed cotton and raw denim uniforms. Hand printed shirting created in collaboration with the artist Joy Gregory, whose study of plants in Jamaican culture results in captivating flowers of resistance, exalt the magic of discovery.

The Romanticism of wood block inspired paisley, Indian embroidery and hand crocheting evoke an artisanal and worldly spirit, representing a global and diverse academic circle. Tuxedo suiting made in collaboration with Savile Row tailors Anderson & Sheppard is disrupted with hybrid boating stripes - echoes of twenties evening wear, classicism with an Afro-Atlantic sensibility.

The collection presents a continued partnership between Wales Bonner and adidas Originals, offering a timeless wardrobe of Collegiate leisurewear, and low profile sneakers in luxurious leathers and playful nylon, team kit for a gifted community.

The light of Black Sunlight, produced in collaboration with Jamaican filmmaker Jeano Edwards, becomes a film memory of the collection. Captured between Port Antonio and Kingston in Jamaica and London’s Goodenough College, this exploration of transcendent, intersectional intellect reverberates with the ambient sounds of musician Laraaji - resonating the rich complication of diasporic sound and creation.

Edwards, Jeano, dir. Light of Black Sunlight. London, 2021.

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