Yinka Shonibare CBE Exhibition Poster

Yinka Shonibare CBE Exhibition Poster

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Yinka Shonibare CBE Exhibition Poster

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This poster is produced on the occasion of Yinka Shonibare CBE: Suspended States at Serpentine. It features African Bird Magic (Mauritius Fody & Comoro Blue Vanga). The African Bird Magic quilt series features endangered birds including the Mauritius Fody and Comoro Blue Vanga. An African mask hovers over the birds, symbolising ancestors who were once custodians of the birds’ habitats before colonialism and industrialisation endangered many species. The quilt series also highlights the historical journey of African masks to the West, often tied to colonial exploitation and trade, which influenced modernist artists like Henri Matisse (1869-1954), Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) and Amadeo Modigliani (1884-1920).


Shonibare celebrates these masks, explaining ‘they become symbols of African empowerment to challenge the consequences of Western colonial industrialisation in the degradation of the African environment.’ These works also serve as a warning, reflecting on the consequences of industrialisation and its subsequent ecological impact, and reminding us of the species that may yet become extinct if we do not take care of our environment.

 

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