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About This Event
– This event takes place online only.
– You can access this event for free through this webpage and also on the Whitechapel Gallery’s YouTube Channel, here.
– This event is suitable for those over the age of 16.
– We are unable to provide British Sign Language interpretation for this event.
– We are unable to provide live closed captioning or CART for this event.
– As the event is scheduled for a total of one hour, we will not take a rest break.
– As the event is being live streamed, you can access it from your home if you have access to an internet connection.
– We do not yet know if we will be able to make the recording available afterwards.
This information will be updated where required.
Yinka Shonibare’s work critically explores issues of race and class through painting, sculpture, photography and film, often questioning cultural and national definitions. The British-Nigerian artist speaks with former Whitechapel Gallery Director Iwona Blazwick about his work and exceptional career to date, on the occasion of his receipt of the 2021 Art Icon Award.
Yinka Shonibare CBE is internationally renowned for his multi-layered work that explores issues of race, class and colonialism through his multi-disciplinary practice. Often incorporating references from Western art history and literature, his work questions the validity of contemporary cultural and national identities within the context of globalisation. His signature material is the vibrantly coloured ‘Dutch wax’ batik fabric. Batik was inspired by Indonesian designs, manufactured in Holland and then sold to colonies in West Africa before becoming a signifier for African identity in the 1960s.
Shonibare lives and works in East London. He was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2004. His sculpture, Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle, was the 2010 Fourth Plinth Commission in Trafalgar Square and is now on permanent display at The National Maritime Museum, Greenwich. His monumental installation, The British Library (2014), which celebrates the contribution made by immigrants to Britain, has been on permanent display at Tate Modern since 2019. Recently, he has had solo exhibitions in Beijing, Singapore and London, and will have a major survey exhibition at the Museum der Moderne Salzburg in May 2021. He is represented by Stephen Friedman Gallery, London; James Cohan Gallery, New York; and Goodman Gallery, South Africa.