I have chosen to explore Yinka Shonibare’s work whom from a Nigerian origin but traveled over the Britain in order to study. He uses life-size and headless mannequins and dresses them up in typically Victorian clothing. However, he adds a modern twist to his work as he includes traditional African patterns within the clothing. I like the modern feel that he applies to his work because Victorian clothing can been seen as quite dull and plain although the African patterns which creates a vibrant and eye-catching appeal. This suggests that Shonibare likes the idea of mixing cultures and our generation together.
I had researched Shonibare’s work through looking a books as well as doing some research on the internet although I found that that books were much more useful as I was able to discover more of his work which I could not find just on the internet. I was able to pick out my favorite pieces of work from the book as well as gaining quite a clear vision of his style of work.
I find that Shonibare’s work is very interesting and I was drawn to one particular message he was trying to put across within his work. The sculpture work is called ‘Scramble for African’ which explores the colonization of Africa as fourteen mannequins are made to look as if they are debating or coming to an agreement over whom gets which part of African. I feel that the African clothing is quite symbolic within this sculpture work because it suggests that the countries involved in colonizing African robbed them of their goods even their own identities which could be shown through the clothing.
Overall, I feel that Shonibare is very inspiration as from reading further about his life I was able to find out that he was disabled. He shows people that nothing can stop you from pursuing your dreams. Furthermore, Shonibare had studied in Central Saint Martins with is a very popular art university within London.
More of my favorite pieces of Shonibare’s work:
I like this sculpture work as it combines modern with old fashion. A women walking with dogs is not something unusual to see now. However, it could have been seen as quite strange for a ‘leisure lady’ to want to walk dogs.
These sculptures creates quite a western feel. It is not typical to see two women holding guns as I can picture two cowboys doing this. This shows how Shonibare chooses to ignore or stop following typical traditions as this could have not been seen as very lady like for women to take part in this sort of activity suggesting that in our generation women have become much more independent and stronger making us be on the same level as men.
Me Researching in CSM Library