Talking Points: Yinka Shonibare

A collection of sources and imagery to explore the work of Yinka Shonibare.

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Yinka Shonibare

Yinka Shonibare is interdisciplinary artist. Within his practice he explored Western art history and literature to question contemporary cultural and national identities within the context of globalisation. 

Through examining race, class and the construction of cultural identity, his works comment on the tangled interrelationship between Africa and Europe, and their respective economic and political histories. Find out more on his website here.

Watch “Who is Yinka Shonibare” -Tate Kids.

Earth Kids

“The wild is far from unlimited. It is finite. It needs protecting.” – David Attenborough 

This series of new sculptures by Shonibare reflect on the connection between the history of colonial domination and humankind’s domination of the natural world and the exploitation of its limited resources.

Questions to Ask Children

In your own words, what do you think that the artist is trying to say through his work?

Do you like the sculptures? Why?

How do the sculptures make you feel?

Wind Sculptures

We can’t see wind, but we do see its effects. Here the dynamic movement of a piece of fabric in a gust of wind is rendered in solid fiberglass at monumental scale.  

What we now regard as traditional African cloth is based on Indonesian batik fabric first brought to Africa by Dutch traders in the 1800s. For Shonibare, and for Wind Sculpture, identity is always a richly layered and dynamic set of relationships. – Public Art Fund.

Questions to Ask Children

In your own words what do you think the artist is trying to say with this series?

How does that artwork make you feel?

How do you think the scale of this sculpture impacts the viewer?

What do you like/dislike about the sculpture?

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