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Yinka Shonibare

Yinka Shonibare is a British artist who enjoys using all different kinds of art to explore the complicated relationship between Europe and Africa. Born in 1962 in London, he studied Fine Art at Byam Shaw School of Art and received his Master of Fine Arts from Goldsmiths, University of London. Shonibare has very impressive achievements, including founding his own foundation and having his art displayed in many notable museums. 

One of his most well-known and recent piece is a fabric called Space Walk, 2002. The fabric is a pigment on cotton sateen, cotton brocade, fiberglass, resin, and plastic. 

In my opinion, the vibrant combination of colors is a reflection of Shonibare’s want for exploration and free creativity. When making this, Shonibare was definitely not new to the art of fabric, as many of his works are made in the fabric medium. He created this during his residency at the Fabric Workshop and Museum, with his goal being to simply design fabrics to go on top of an installation. The two figures are two astronauts in space, floating near a projected image of the Apollo 13 space capsule. 

Space Walk is from the exhibition A Gateway to Possible Worlds: Art & Science Fiction, which is made up of over 200 works from the 1960s to today. It sprouted from hippie protest movements and debates the flaws of the immediate future. It debates these topics through its unique art and artists’ thoughts. The pieces in this exhibition focus on art in science fiction, specifically depicting artists’ relationships with imaginary worlds and different aspects of them. It represents their want for change in today’s world and as a form of hope. 

Yinka Shonibare’s collaboration with his fabric and figures creates a perfect example of using art to depict what your imagination produces. 

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