Yinka Shonibare MBE Conference - 27 June, 2013

Tue, 05 Mar 2013 14:58:00 GMT

University and Yorkshire Sculpture Park collaborate to explore Shonibare’s art

Yinka Shonibare MBE Y‌inka Shonibare MBE is one of Britain’s most popular and provocative artists. He features in a major exhibition at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP) and a special one-day conference organised by the University of Huddersfield will enable all those interested in art to arrive at an in-depth understanding of his work, dealing centrally with the aftermath of empire and the complex relationship between Africa and Europe. 

Shonibare’s art – which makes distinctive and symbolic use of fabrics – will be on view at the YSP until 1 July.  It is showcased in three of the park’s indoor galleries and in the open air.  Named FABRIC–ATION, the exhibition features over 30 works from the period 2002 to 2013, including sculpture, film, photography, painting and collage, many works never before seen in the UK. 

On Thursday 27 June, the YSP will be the venue for a conference entitled Yinka Shonibare MBE: Material Positions, organised by the University of Huddersfield’s School of Art, Design and Architecture, which has been an official partner of the world-renowned sculpture park since 2009. 

Alison Rowley The one-day event takes the collaboration to a new level.  “The University has a Memorandum of Co-operation with the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and until now its focus has been on research in the National Art Education Archive, housed at the YSP,” said the School of Art, Design and Architecture’s Reader in Cultural Theory, Dr Alison Rowley

“Important research into the history of art education in the region is happening in the archive and now we are seeking to expand our public activities with YSP.  ‌One of the commitments of our collaboration is to provide intellectual frameworks, which will promote a greater understanding of artists exhibited at YSP.  ‌Therefore the Yinka Shonibare conference will almost certainly be the first of a sequence of such events”, she added.

A major influence on Shonibare’s art

YSP logo The Conference on 27 June will explore the history and development of Shonibare’s work in the British context and examine its position globally.  Dr Rowley is a specialist in the 1990s movement known as Young British Art – she has a book forthcoming on the subject – with which Yinka Shonibare MBE – he has incorporated the honour as part of his name – is often associated. 

Born in Britain and raised in Nigeria before returning to the UK, Shonibare is a former Turner Prize nominee whose best-known works include a highly-publicised exhibit on the vacant plinth at Trafalgar Square – he installed a model of Nelson’s HMS Victory in a giant glass bottle, its sails fashioned from the distinctive fabrics that are a hallmark of his work. 

 A major influence on Shonibare’s art was his discovery of the complex history of colourful Dutch-made fabrics which became characteristic African garb.  He incorporates these in many of his works, as he explores themes of post-colonialism. 

The keynote speakers on 27 June will be Angela McRobbie, Professor of Communications at Goldsmiths University, and Carol Tulloch, Reader in Visual, Material aYinka Shonibare MBE artwork nd Diaspora Studies at the CCW Graduate School, University of the Creative Arts and a research fellow at the V&A Museum. 

“Angela McRobbie is an internationally-renowned cultural theorist with a special interest in fashion and Carol Tulloch specialises in textiles and the African diaspora, so our keynote speakers reflect our expertise in fashion and textiles here at the University of Huddersfield,” said Dr Rowley. 

  • For more information about Yinka Shonibare MBE: Material Positions and to book places, visit the YSP website.

Image (lower right): Yinka Shonibare MBE, Revolution Kid (Fox Boy), 2012. Courtesy the artist and Stephen Friedman Gallery. Courtesy of YSP

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