Yinka Shonibare, ‘Creatures of the Mappa Mundi - Cicone Gentes’ - (sketch)

Meadow Arts commission, 2018 for Hereford Cathedral.

Yinka Shonibare, ‘Creatures of the Mappa Mundi -Monoculi’ - (sketch)

Meadow Arts commission, 2018 for Hereford Cathedral.

Yinka Shonibare

Yinka Shonibare MBE (RA) was born in 1962 in London and moved to Lagos, Nigeria at the age of three. He returned to London to study Fine Art, first at Byam School of Art (now Central Saint Martins College) and then at Goldsmiths College, where he received his MFA.

Shonibare’s work explores issues of race and class through the media of painting, sculpture, photography and film. Shonibare questions the meaning of cultural and national definitions. His trademark material is the brightly coloured ‘African’ batik fabric he buys in London. This type of fabric was inspired by Indonesian design, mass-produced by the Dutch and eventually sold to the colonies in West Africa. In the 1960s the material became a new sign of African identity and independence.

Shonibare was a Turner prize nominee in 2004 and was also awarded the decoration of Member of the ‘Most Excellent Order of the British Empire’ or MBE, a title he has added to his professional name. Shonibare’s notable commissions include ‘Gallantry and Criminal Conversation’ at Documenta 11, Kassel, in 2002; Venice Biennale; ‘Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle’ for the Fourth Plinth at Trafalgar square in 2010; ‘Globe Head Ballerina’ for the Royal Opera House, 2012. Solo exhibitions include the MCA Sydney; Brooklyn Museum, New York and the Museum of African Art at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC. He was elected as a Royal Academician by the Royal Academy, London in 2013.


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