Menu

Translations are powered by Google Translate.

  • Yinka Shonibare MBE, The British Library. Courtesy the artist and Stephen Friedman Gallery, London, Co-commissioned by HOUSE 2014 and Brighton Festival, Photographer: Jonathan Bassett.
Tue 22 Mar - Sun 30 Oct 2016

As part of the 14-18 NOW programme of World War 1 Centenary Art commissions, Turner Contemporary’s Sunley Gallery is transformed by two major works by leading contemporary artist Yinka Shonibare MBE.

Coinciding with the gallery’s fifth anniversary, Shonibare’s powerful work explores themes of conflict, empire and migration in the centenary year of The Battle of the Somme, poignantly shown at Turner Contemporary against the dramatic backdrop of the North Sea.

Co-commissioned by Turner Contemporary and 14-18 NOW, Shonibare’s newest sculptural work End of Empire explores how alliances forged in the First World War changed British society forever, and continue to affect us today. The new work features two figures dressed in the artist’s signature bright and patterned fabrics; their globe-heads highlighting the countries involved in the First World War. Seated on a Victorian see-saw, the entire work slowly pivots in the gallery space, offering a metaphor for dialogue, balance and conflict, while symbolising the possibility of compromise and resolution between two opposing forces.

Presented alongside this new commission is Shonibare’s The British Library, a colourful work, celebrating and questioning how immigration has contributed to the British culture that we live in today. Shelves of books covered in colourful wax fabric fill the Sunley Gallery, their spines bearing the names of first and second generation immigrants who have enriched British society. From T.S. Eliot and Hans Holbein to Zaha Hadid, The British Library reminds us that the displacement of communities by global war has consequences that inform our lives and attitudes today.

Accompanying the exhibition, Shonibare will discuss his exhibition and artistic practice in conversation broadcaster and journalist Kirsty Lang, with writer and broadcaster Barnaby Phillips, and SOAS Lecturer in International Relations Dr Meera Sabaratnam at Turner Contemporary on Tuesday 22 March at 6.30pm.

End of Empire is co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW and Turner Contemporary The British Library was a HOUSE 2014 and Brighton Festival co-commission

Partners:

Unique Learning Opportunities
Support our aim to help people see, think and learn differently.
Give £20

Yes

World-class art for all
Help up ensure that everyone has access to great art, for free, always.
Give £50

Yes

Transforming Margate
Be a catalyst for regeneration in Margate by helping to sustain our work.
Give £100

Yes