British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare will have his first exhibition on Nigeria soil during UK Nigeria 2015/16, a major season of arts work in Nigeria. This was revealed by Connie Price, the Country Director of British Council, Nigeria at an event to launch the season on Thursday, August 20 at the British Council Office in Lagos.
Yinka Shonibare MBE RA, was born in London in 1962 and moved to Lagos at the age of three with his family. He returned to London at 17 to study Fine Art first at Byam Shaw College of Art (now Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design) and then at Goldsmiths College, where he received his MFA, graduating as part of the ‘Young British Artists’ generation. He currently lives and works in the East End of London.
His work explores colonialism, industrialisation, emigration, cultural appropriation, and the invention (and reinvention) of tradition using painting, sculpture, photography, installation art, and, more recently, film and performance. Ankara (African fabrics) is a key material in his work.
Another first in Nigeria during the season will be the Maker Library Network, a global collective of designers, architects and makers. Combining reading, design, exhibitions and making, this new type of creative space encourages local and international knowledge sharing. Participants can share resources, swap skills, take part in mentoring sessions and exchange ideas.
UK/Nigeria 2015–16 is a major season of arts in Nigeria aimed at building new audiences, creating new collaborations and strengthening relationships between the UK and Nigeria.
“The core of this relationship is the strong cultural and historical links between our two peoples. These personal links provide the bedrock for business; a healthy UK-Nigeria trade relationship is what we both want. We will work with businesses, institutions and individuals to support innovative and ever more diverse relationships between the UK and Nigeria,” Simon Shercliff, deputy British High Commissioner said.
At the season announcement night for UK/Nigeria 2015-16, guests were treated to poetry, music and palm wine. Poetry was provided by Wana Udobang who performed two before unheard poems and music by DJ Sose.
Winner of Nigeria Idol Season 5, K Peace also performed. The event was attended by a large crowd of partners, sponsors and young entrepreneurs from Nigeria and the UK. Guests at the event include Bolanle Olukanni, Kemi Lala Akindoju, Tope Oshin, Kelechi Amadi-Obi, Tunde Sotimirin, Lola Shoneyin, author and founder of Ake Arts and Book Festival.
Others that stepped out to support the British Council include Ambassador Ayo Olukanni, Former Nigerian Ambassador to Australia, Arnold Jackson, from the Nigerian Export Promotion Council Abuja; Chioma Udeh, Founder, AFRIFF; Mrs Funmilayo Balogun, Permanent Secretary and Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture and others.
For more information on the UK Nigeria 2015/16 Season click here.