Yinka Shonibare

22 Mar 2016 - 30 Oct 2016

In a new commission Yinka Shonibare, MBE, one of the most important artists at work in the United Kingdom today, explores how the new alliances forged in the First World War changed British society forever, and continue to affect us today.

Shonibare’s new work features two of his signature figures attired in African fabrics; their globe-heads highlighting the countries involved in WW1. Offering a metaphor for dialogue, balance and conflict, the entire work pivots almost imperceptibly in the gallery space, symbolising the possibility of compromise and resolution between two opposing forces.

How has immigration contributed to the British culture that we live in today? How have immigrants shaped what it means to be British? These are the questions Shonibare asks in The British Library, a sculptural work presented alongside End of Empire at Turner Contemporary. Shelves of books, many bearing the name of an immigrant who has enriched our society (from T.S. Eliot to Zaha Hadid), on the spine remind us that the displacement of communities by global war has consequences that inform our lives and attitudes today.

Co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW and Turner Contemporary.

 

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