Working across painting, photography, film and sculpture, BritishNigerian artist Yinka Shonibare – who describes himself as a ‘postcolonial hybrid’ – explores themes of cultural identity, class and race. In his work, he often makes use of vibrantly coloured wax-print fabric bought in Brixton market, London. This is the case for his mixed-media sculpture The Crowning (2007), which features two life-sized headless mannequins reclining in a colourful tableau.
Shonibare, MBE, Yinka
This work is unabashedly decorative but there is more to it than mere decor. Like many other painting installations by Yinka Shonibare, it is made up of an array of small canvases, which have Dutch wax fabric prints as their support.
This print is part of a portfolio, published by the Byam Shaw School of Art in London, with the aim of raising funds to provide bursaries to support Byam Shaw students from overseas. The ten artists all responded to the theme of Bugs, set by the school's Principal, Alister Warman. The portfolio was conceived as a sequel to an earlier print portfolio, 'Nine London Birds', published by the school in 1994, and originally planned to refer specifically to insects found in London.