This is one of the exhibitions in London that I was looking forward to the most. The Interactive Bob Marley “One Love Experience” has made its global debut at London’s Saatchi Gallery and it is poignant, fascinating, inspiring (especially in the current context).
In this exciting multi-sensory exhibition, visitors are exploring different themed rooms, to get to know Bob Marley’s life and legacy better.
Today, DOYOUSPEAKLONDON invites you to dig into Bob Marley’s One Love Experience at The Saatchi Gallery!
Bob Marley’s exhibition at The Saatchi Gallery
One could find it quite surprising to see this kind of exhibition, focused on a music group, at The Saatchi. But I remember another wonderful exhibit of The Rolling Stones in 2016 in the same gallery. Because music is a form of art too…
About this exhibition, Cedella Marley, CEO of Bob Marley group of companies says “We’ve been wanting to launch a Bob Marley touring exhibit for many years and we’re thrilled to see it come to life and debut in London, which had a very special place in Daddy’s heart. The experience can be enjoyed by all generations and we look forward to continuing to spread Daddy’s music and message to the globe”.
I used to listen a lot to Bob Marley when I was a teenager. I was very much attracted by his music and aura, but I realise now that I barely knew the man (I blame the absence of internet at the time).
This exhibition gave me the opportunity to make up for this lack and it was like revisiting a period of my late childhood. It will definitely seduce all nostalgic people like me but might also inspire the new generations because Bob Marley’s messages still sound very accurate today…
Bob Marley’s “One Love Experience”
As soon as you enter the first room, the music invades you and you are transported to another time, another place, you start humming and doing a few dance steps… all the impact of Bob Marley’s music is there : a communicative joy (because I was not the only one to succumb!)!
The exhibition is very accessible, even to young people. It does not try to be deep or over-documented, the purpose here is just to immerse the visitors into the life of the world’s most famous reggae star.
As part of the immersive journey, the visitors discover 6 themed rooms, each presenting a certain aspect of Bob Marley’s lifestyle, passions, influences, and enduring legacy.
Room 1: One Love Music Room
The first room showcases some rare photographs and memorabilia of the reggae icon and celebrates the achievements of Bob Marley and the Wailers.
Among the poignant memories presented here, I was touched to see one of Bob Marley’s guitars and some papers where he wrote lyrics and added scribbled corrections.
There’s also a striking wall-length portrait of Bob Marley by artist Mr Brainwash that incorporates all of the Island Records album covers.
Room 2: One Love Forest
I was quite intrigued by this room at first, looking for its purpose. I assume the organisers wanted to re-create the atmosphere of the Jamaican countryside where Bob Marley came from.
Although much effort has been put into it with multi-sensorial effects (the forest decor, giant portraits on the wall, beanbags waiting for you to slouch onto or a rope-swing standing on the side of the room, chirping birdsongs…), it’s obviously difficult to feel transported that far away and understand the origins of Bob Marley’s inspirations. But it was a pleasant way to continue our journey into the singer’s life backstage…
Room 3: Soul Shakedown Studio
At this stage of the exhibition, you are given Bluetooth headphones to enjoy concert footage on screens on the walls around you.
If you -like me- missed the chance to see Bob Marley in concert, you will definitely enjoy viewing these videos of his performances. This is a nice tribute to some of his most successful songs.
Room 4: The Beautiful Life
This room tackles the more personal aspects of Bob Marley’s life and explores all his passions, starting with football and table tennis, but also his family.
It’s always touching to dive into someone’s intimate pictures and memories, and I remember thinking how simple, peaceful and convivial Bob Marley’s life seemed like despite his celebrity at the time.
After discovering these personal aspects of the reggae icon, visitors will take in the backstage corridor of a Bob Marley concert before heading to the next room.
Room 5: Concrete Jungle Street & Fan Art exhibition
In this room I was -again- very impressed and attracted by Mr Brainwash’s artwork: quite imposing original artworks made of recycled vinyls. So powerful!
All Bob Marley’s fans were able to submit original artwork inspired by the icon and his message to be displayed in this exhibition room, explaining the large variety in styles.
Room 6: Next Gen Zone
This room is fully dedicated to Bob Marley’s legacy “by highlighting the indelible and undeniable work of his wife Rita, his children, and now his grandchildren that have spread the message of One Love and Bob’s music and philanthropy to the globe over the past 4 decades”.
This is interesting to see that Bob Marley’s voice has not been shut and still inspires new generations long time after his death in 1981.
If I may add a personal opinion, I would have liked to see a room dedicated to Bob Marley’s own influences, the history of the creation of the group Bob Marley and the Wailers (with a presentation of these people who took part in his success), and its impact on the reggae music. Also, an introduction to his spirituality since it was his first source of inspiration in the creation of his songs. Because its message, as evoked in this exhibition, is so right in today’s complex and threatened world…
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and found inspiration here. If you are about to visit The Bob Marley One Love Experience soon, please share your experience and opinion on DOYOUSPEAKLONDON’s blog!
* A huge thank you to The Saatchi Gallery for inviting me, it was a pleasure to see this exhibition.