Corinne Bailey-Rae Black Rainbows Opaque Red Vinyl LP
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Available to pre-order - released 15th Sept
Inspired by the objects and artworks collected by Theaster Gates at the Stony Island Arts Bank in Chicago, the work includes a collection of songs, a book Refraction/Reflection of the Arts Bank photographed by Koto Bolofo, live performances, visuals, lectures and exhibitions—a bold move from her previous work.
The first single, ‘New York Transit Queen’, which The Observer have described as “an exciting post-punk glam thrash… like Santigold dismantling Blur’s Song 2” is out now. Black Rainbows is released on 15th September.
“I knew when I walked through those doors that my life had changed forever,” says Bailey Rae. “Engaging with these archives and encountering Theaster Gates and his practice has changed how I think about myself as an artist and what the possibilities of my work can be. This music has come through seeing. Seeing has been like hearing, for me. While I was looking, songs/sounds appeared.”
Wide ranging in its themes, Black Rainbows’ subjects are drawn from encounters with objects in the Arts Bank, a curated collection of Black archives comprising books, sculpture, records, furniture and problematic objects from America’s past. From the rock hewn churches of Ethiopia to the journeys of Black Pioneers westward, from Miss New York Transit 1957 to how the sunset appears from Harriet Jacobs’ loophole, Black Rainbows explores Black femininity, Spell Work, Inner Space/Outer Space, time collapse, ancestors and music as a vessel for transcendence.
In continued homage to African American art, Bailey Rae chose Amanda Williams and Koto Bolofo for the art direction and photography, respectively, of the project. Amanda Williams was recently honoured as a 2022 Macarthur Fellow, with her work exhibited at highly acclaimed museums across the country notably New York’s Museum of Modern Art and Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art. In similar excellence, Koto Bolofo was awarded the 2022 Lucie Award for Achievement in Advertising in Photography, with his editorials featured in Vogue, Vanity Fair, GQ and many others.