by Jon Cronshaw
Black-winged fairies, fox-headed highwaymen sporting hand-guns and Blackberry phones, and cute aliens in colourful flying machines are among some of the weird and wonderful exhibits currently on show at Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
They are not sculptures in the traditional sense as Nigerian-born British artist Yinka Shonibare works with materials ranging from brightly coloured fabrics to taxidermied fox heads.
listen to ‘Interview with Sarah Coulson about Yinka Shonibare at Yorkshire Sculpture Park’ on AudiobooThe Turner Prize nominee’s work explores the themes of conflict, empire and identity through using African fabrics in unlikely places, from space suits to 19th Century naval uniforms. Fabric-ation brings together some of Yinka’s most well known works from the past decade, with the addition of new works commissioned especially for the exhibition.
Sarah Coulson, deputy curator at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, said: “Yinka hasn’t had a UK exhibition anything like this size, which has brought together work from such a wide period of time. It’s an opportunity for people to see how his work has developed.”
|Yinka Shonibare, Revolution Kid Fox Boy (2012) (courtesy of the artist)|
Sarah added, “Fabric is traditionally thought of as craft, which is often seen as something separate to sculpture. Yinka deliberately uses fabric to question ‘what is sculpture?’ and why we have these ideas of high art and low art.
“Yinka says that what he wants to do is create things that are beautiful, that people can engage with on many different levels. So you can come and just enjoy the amazing colours, patterns and textures, and the sheer joyousness of the objects that he makes. So you can come and enjoy these objects for what they are.”
Yorkshire Sculpture Park website.
Yinka Shonibare's website.