Pia Camil @ Tramway, Glasgow

Pia Camil's Bara Bara Bara is a stunning repurposing of worn out t-shirts and jeans, making an ambitious space for interaction and imagination

Review by Adam Benmakhlouf | 16 May 2019
  • Pia Camil at Tramway, Glasgow

The first sign of Bara Bara Bara is an explanation that it’s okay to sit on the Jean sculptures. Once you're in, the Tramway main space is filled with huge colourful fabric hanging works. They are made of hundreds of tees stitched together to look like huge parachutes. Light is coming from the skylights and bright daylight bulb lamps on the ceiling, shining through the fabric making it look like a stained glass mosaic.

There’s the sense of being surrounded by a crowd of bright t-shirt wearing bodies, an abstraction of what it's like to be a child at T in the Park. It is soft sculpture and considering most of the audience are presumably exhausted (see further: social instability), it's a surprising and welcome moment of repose.

It's sunny in the gallery and there are kids interacting with the sculptures. They are more energetic than the adult response of collapse and repose. A girl sticks her head thought the t-shirt hole, and shouts that the red one is her house and the green is for her mum.

The forms of the sewn together fabrics are references to Mexican marketplaces, and look heavy with rain, dipping low like big cow bellies. There’s a polka-dot pattern of headholes; taking cue from the kids, look through a head hole to see an abstracted landscape of colour grouped winged rectangles.

All of a sudden there's the feeling of bobbing in a wave, seeing the sink before rolling into it on a choppy coast. Sewn into perfect rows in painterly groupings, the hanging t-shirt quilts fill the space, making a comfortable space for revery and imagination out of nothing but worn out clothes.

Bara Bara Bara, at Tramway, until 22 Jun