Yinka Shonibare CBE (RA)


G.A.S. Foundation

Artist Yinka Shonibare CBE launches G.A.S. Foundation


One of the world’s foremost artists, Yinka Shonibare CBE, has announced the development of his new artist residency in Lagos, Nigeria, due to open in 2021.

The Guest Artists Space (G.A.S.) Foundation is a non-profit dedicated to facilitating international artistic and cultural exchange and developing creative practices through artist residencies and international collaborations.

Based on an idea Shonibare began developing back in 2011, G.A.S. Foundation was established in 2019, launched under the umbrella of The Yinka Shonibare Foundation (UK).

Building works for both artist residency spaces in Lagos and Ijebu are now already underway.


Installation view of "Child on Unicycle," 2005
Installation view of "Child on Unicycle," 2005


Saturday 2 March - Sunday 29 September 2019

A Tale of Today: Yinka Shonibare CBE is the inaugural exhibition in the Driehaus Museum’s new contemporary art programme, aimed to explore the contrasts and connections between the Gilded Age and the present.

The exhibitions take its name from The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today, the 1873 book by Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner that originally coined the phrase that subsequently became the name for this period in American history.

The exhibitionis built around four sculptural installations and two photography series, that will be installed throughout the Museum’s “home,” the Nickerson Mansion—renowned as Gilded Age Chicago’s “Marble Palace”. The installation will, in part, engage with the mansion’s own history, to better highlight the different questions about class, race, and status that are so integral to the exhibited works.

“Yinka Shonibare is an artist who draws on history, politics, and fashion to explore and critique our understanding of the past with equal doses of humor, irony, and theatrics,” — Richard P. Townsend, the Museum’s director. “Our hope with this exhibition, and its companion programs, is to engage audiences in thinking about the past through a new frame of reference—one that is also relevant to understanding the challenges our society faces today.”


Website: driehausmuseum.org


The African Library, 2018
The African Library, 2018

“Trade Winds: Yinka Shonibare CBE” at Norval Foundation, Cape Town

Monday 13 February – Monday 26 August 2019

Trade Winds: Yinka Shonibare CBE brings together a series of artworks, including sculptures, photographs and a major installation, created between 2008 and 2018, which are connected through their use of Dutch Wax fabric.

The exhibition takes as its starting point an appreciation for the fabric’s materiality and the conceptual as well as historical meanings associated with it and also provides a context for Wind Sculpture (SG) III (2018), which has recently been acquired by Norval Foundation, and permanently installed in the Norval Foundation Sculpture Garden.

At the centre of this exhibition is The African Library (2018), the most recent iteration of the library series venerating first or second-generation immigrants who have shaped a country’s social, political or cultural life. Comprised of approximately 4,900 books covered in Dutch Wax fabric, The African Library broadens the initial concept of the artwork by celebrating the contributions that immigrant and non-immigrant Africans have made to the continent’s independence movements, science, arts and technological innovation, by emblazoning their names in gold along the spines of books.

Alongside The African Library, is the five-part photographic series The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters (2008). Drawing upon the eighteenth-century Spanish artist Francisco Goya’s satiric etching of the same name, the works are similarly critical of humanity’s inability to be truly rational. Each of the five photographs relate to a specific continent, acting as personifications of these land masses, yet the ethnicity of the figure in each image confuses traditional expectations of who inhabits a given continent. Two figurative sculptures included in this exhibition, Boy Balancing Knowledge II (2016) and Butterfly Kid (Girl) IV (2017), while playful, nonetheless suggest significant subjects for the next generation: escape from an environmentally compromised planet, and the weight and precariousness of our systems of knowledge.



Creatures of the Mappa Mundi, Mandragora 2018
Creatures of the Mappa Mundi, Mandragora 2018

Yinka Shonibare at Hereford Cathedral: Creatures of the Mappa Mundi

Thursday 24 January – Saturday 1 June 2019

Yinka Shonibare: Creatures of the Mappa Mundi at Hereford Cathedral

Displayed next to the Cathedral’s Chained Library, the Hereford Mappa Mundi is the largest medieval world map to survive. One of its most remarkable features is that it is illustrated with strange people and animals, drawn by artists from the exaggerated descriptions of travellers to far off lands. Shonibare has been inspired by the map and its alien creatures to create a new work for Herefordshire, which will be on show from late January to June 2019.

Illustrated on the map are various creatures, natural and supernatural, including camels, elephants and unicorns. The more human-like creatures are sometimes outrageous in form, for example the Blemmye; a warrior race of people with no heads and facial features in their chests, or the Sciapods, a race with one giant leg and foot each.

Creatures of the Mappa Mundi explores what Shonibare refers to as, “Two of the most pressing concerns of our time, environmental protection and immigration. Inspired by the ability of the Mappa Mundi to still be reflecting our contemporary concerns of fear of the stranger or “other” which often leads to xenophobia. The depictions of extinct creatures of legend are a reminder that we may yet become extinct if we do not take care of our environment.”

The exhibition contains a series of textile works, depicting various creatures and strangers from the map. These new works will feature the vibrant Dutch-wax fabrics that have become iconic of Shonibare’s work. Each piece has been made with the help of different groups of people across the county of Herefordshire, including those linked to disabled people, the homeless and refugees. 

Creatures of the Mappa Mundi will be on display in the Mappa Mundi & Chained Library Exhibition from Thursday 24 January – Saturday 1 June, normal admission charges apply.


Wind Sculpture (SG) I, 2018
Wind Sculpture (SG) I, 2018

Wind Sculpture (SG) I permanently Installed at Davidson College, North Carolina

Yinka Shonibare's Wind Sculpture (SG) I made its New York debut from March 7th - October 14th 2018 at Doris C. Plaza, Central Park. Due to the generous support of Pat Rodgers – the sculpture is now permanently installed at Davidson College in front of the E. Craig Wall Jr. Academic Center. The Wall Center, which Rodgers Builders constructed, not only serves as premier real estate on campus for Shonibare's work, but connects strikingly to the ideas behind the piece and to Rodgers's motivation in bringing it to campus. The center's cross-pollination of physical and social sciences, and humanities underscores Davidson's transdisciplinary emphasis in reimagining the liberal arts experience.

Photograph by Christopher Record


Smithsonian National Museum of African Art

Wind Sculpture VII

Wind Sculpture VII is the first sculpture installed permanently in front of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art. This unique, gold-leaf version of Shonibare’s Wind Sculptures series evokes the sails of ships that have crossed the Atlantic and other oceans, connecting nations through the exchange of ideas, products, and people. In its form, it captures histories that can be inspiring or brutal, but always complex. It suggests that the opening of the seas led not only to the slave trade and colonization, but also to the dynamic contributions of Africans and African heritage worldwide. Using yellow, blue, rose, and gold, Shonibare celebrates the African men, women, and children who have shaped the United States, Great Britain, and other nations of today and for the future.




Nelsons Ship in  Bottle
Nelsons Ship in Bottle
© 2010 Yinka Shonibare MBE

Yinka Shonibare MBE Nelson's Ship in a Bottle

Nelson's HMS Victory

'Nelson's Ship in a Bottle' originally debuted on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square and is now permantley on display at The Nation Maritime Museum in Greenwich.The work is an incredibly detailed, scaled-down replica of HMS Victory, on which Nelson 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 fabrics used were inspired by Indonesian batik, mass-produced by Dutch traders and sold in West Africa.


Wind Sculpture Howick Place
Wind Sculpture Howick Place
© 2014 Yinka Shonibare MBE

Yinka Shonibare MBE Wind Sculpture

Commission for Howick Place

Wind Sculpture, a site specific commision, is permanently displayed as part of Howick Place in Victoria, London. Measuring 6 metres by 3 metres, the work explores the notion of harnessing movement, through the idea of capturing and freezing a volume of wind in a moment in time.


To look at previous exhibitions see Press

©2020. All images are property of Yinka Shonibare CBE (RA).