Yinka Shonibare MBE (RA)

Present

Ikon Icon 1990s, London

10 September — 9 November 2014

Ikon Icons sees the return to Ikon of five key British artists from an exhibition programme that has extended over five decades – including John Salt, Ian Emes, Cornelia Parker, Yinka Shonibare and Julian Opie. A presentation of work by each takes place, consecutively, throughout 2014 in Ikon’s Tower Room.

The series is a major component of Ikon 50, the programme of exhibition and events celebrating Ikon’s 50th anniversary.

Yinka Shonibare’s exhibition at Ikon in 1999 was seminal. We now show Five Under Garments and Much More (1995), an early suspended installation that prefigures the artist’s mannequin works. Each piece mimics the structured corsetry of period noble dress but the dramatically enlarged proportions and exuberant textiles suggest a provocative de-robing of social and class constructions.

 

 

 

MCA Chicago Plaza Project: Yinka Shonibare MBE

16 June 2014 – October 2014

London-based artist Yinka Shonibare, MBE (British, b. 1962) has spent various parts of his life in England and Nigeria—two countries with a long, complex relationship. Born in England, but raised in Lagos in the wake of Nigeria’s independence, Shonibare has been influenced by his personal experiences in a newly liberated nation and its former colonial ruler, calling himself a “postcolonial hybrid.” Yet his wide-ranging works—including photography, sculpture, film, installation, and performance—explore and question, more universally, the construction of cultural and national identity in a globalized society.

Shonibare is best known for his installations of headless mannequins dressed in clothing made out of Dutch wax fabrics—or “African” batik. Although these colorful fabrics in vibrant patterns have become a sign of cultural pride and identity for Africans, they are a colonial invention, having been mass-produced in Southeast Asia, and exported by the Netherlands since the mid-nineteenth century. This type of fabric intrigues Shonibare because it is simultaneously a fully manufactured and an authentic sign of “Africanness.” In his cross-cultural investigations, Shonibare often examines moments in Western art history, especially the rococo and Victorian periods, that correspond with the early days of transatlantic maritime trade.

Shonibare’s MCA Plaza installation includes three sculptures from his new Wind Series. Nearly twenty feet high, each sculpture captures the movement of a billowing bolt of fabric. Their design was inspired by the sails of ships whose patterns derived from Dutch wax fabrics. The artist chooses these iconic fabrics to exemplify how signs of national or ethnic identity are culturally constructed.

Shonibare’s installation is the fourth MCA Plaza Project. The series previously featured work by Amanda Ross-Ho (2013), Martin Creed (2012), and Mark Handforth (2011). Shonibare’s work is also included in the exhibition Earthly Delights (June 28–November 30, 2014).

This exhibition is organized by Naomi Beckwith, Marilyn and Larry Fields Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.

 

 

 

Yinka Shonibare’s Wind Sculpture comes to Howick Place, Victoria

24 February 2014

A striking, site-specific sculpture by internationally-renowned artist Yinka Shonibare, MBE has been given the green light by Westminster Council, as part of Howick Place in Victoria, London.

Doughty Hanson & Co Real Estate and Terrace Hill, the joint developers behind the new landmark building at 1-5 Howick Place, commissioned Wind Sculpture through art consultants HS Projects. It is expected to be installed in Wilcox Place this spring and will serve as an integral part of the area’s development, which is rapidly becoming Victoria’s vibrant new ‘cultural quarter’.

Wind Sculpture, measuring 6 metres by 3 metres, will explore the notion of harnessing movement, through the idea of capturing and freezing a volume of wind in a moment in time. The work will echo the sails from his Fourth Plinth commission in Trafalgar Square, ‘Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle’, now on permanent display outside the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.

The captivating piece will have special resonance at Howick Place, named after Viscount Howick, later 2nd Earl Grey, one of the main architects of the Reform Act 1832, Catholic emancipation and the abolition of slavery in the British Empire. Wind Sculpture continues Shonibare’s focus on themes of colonialism, trade, and race and will employ the artist’s signature use of batik Dutch wax fabric designs - materials which have become synonymous with African identity.

Designed by award winning architects Rolfe Judd, Howick Place is architecturally stunning and includes just over 143,000 sq ft of commercial space and 23 luxury residential apartments, with spacious terraces offering expansive views over London’s most iconic sights. Situated midway between the fashion centres of Bond Street and Sloane Street, Howick Place is also recognised as a sought-after destination among a community of stylish tenants. It has already attracted the Head Office of Giorgio Armani S.p.A, to 5 Howick Place, with international auction house Phillips, the design studio of Marc Newson and HQ’s of luxury brands Tom Ford and Jimmy Choo – with Burberry, Dolce & Gabbana, Moët Hennessy and Richemont a stone’s throw away. Reflecting this sense of art and culture, Wind Sculpture, is the developers’ contribution to the ongoing renaissance of the area.

 

Globe Head Ballerina
Globe Head Ballerina
2012 Yinka Shonibare MBE

Yinka Shonibare Globe Head Ballerina

Yinka Shonibare's Globe Head Ballerina modelled on The Royal Ballet's Melissa Hamilton.

A unique artwork by Yinka Shonibare, Globe Head Ballerina is the latest public sculpture by the artist. This piece is a life size work based on a photograph of ballerina Margot Fonteyn. Typical of Shonibare’s previous work, the costume is made of African Dutch wax fabric and the dancer has a Victorian-style globe as her head. Encased within a large snow globe style sphere the ballerina rotates on Pointe. 
 
 

 

Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle, Fibreglass, steel, brass, resin, UV ink on printed cotton textile, linen rigging, acrylic and wood
Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle, Fibreglass, steel, brass, resin, UV ink on printed cotton textile, linen rigging, acrylic and wood

Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle

at National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London

Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle by Yinka Shonibare MBE is a 1:30 replica of Nelson’s flagship, HMS Victory, on which he died during the Battle of Trafalgar on 21 October 1805. It has 80 cannon and 37 sails set as on the day of battle. The richly patterned sails were inspired by Indonesian batik, mass-produced by Dutch traders and sold in West Africa. Today these designs are associated with African dress and identity. The characteristic bright colours and abstract symmetries of Dutch Wax fabric have accrued many complex, often ambivalent associations – with colonialism, industrialisation, emigration, cultural appropriation, and the invention (and reinvention) of tradition – all of which are foregrounded in Shonibare’s work. Used for the rigging of Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle, the legacy of Dutch Wax assumes a further, distinctly maritime significance. He was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2004, the same year in which he was awarded an MBE (an appellation that he uses when exhibiting and signing works).

Currently on permanent display at National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London

 

To look at previous exhibitions see Press

 
©2014. All images are property of Yinka Shonibare MBE (RA). Original Website by Moira Stevenson. Website Updated and Maintained by Adam Thornton.