Yinka Shonibare MBE embraces new title at Yorkshire Sculpture Park with largest UK show

By Mark Sheerin | 08 March 2013

Exhibition preview: Yinka Shonibare MBE – Fabric-ation, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, near Wakefield, until September 1 2013

Colour photo of a humanoid fox in bright fabric waving a revolver
Yinka Shonibare, Revolution Kid (Fox) (2012). Courtesy the artist and Collection Museum Beelden aan Zee, Den Haag-Scheveningen (The Netherlands). Acquired with the generous support of the BankGiro Loterij© Courtesy of YSP
As if it were not enough to enjoy his largest ever UK show and get the chance to display work in both the galleries and grounds of YSP, Yinka Shonibare is having his cake and eating it.

For starters, there are those letters after his name. He has now incorporated MBE into his working title, only offering the following justification: “It was the last thing you would have expected of me.”

And for seconds there is the tenor of some of his new work, including Revolution Kid (Fox), who totes a replica of Colonel Gadaffi’s revolver and one of the BlackBerry phones so handy for British rioters in this day and age.

But since the London-based sculptor is now a member of the British Empire rather than a colonial subject, you can forgive his eagerness to join the establishment. Indeed, it looks like a move of fox-like slyness given how likely it is he will continue making subversive comments.

In which case his naming on the honours list may come back to haunt whoever puts together such things. Another piece in the show tackles immigration with fabric-ated aliens coming in to land on fantastical flying machines.

More than 30 works are on display and, along with sculpture, include film, photography, painting and collage. The new show also offers an early opportunity to see how the Nigerian/British artist deals with working outdoors.

  • Open 10am-4pm (closed May 10). Admission free. Follow the park on Twitter @YSPsculpture.

Visit Mark Sheerin's contemporary art blog and follow him on Twitter.

More pictures:

A photo of a woman in a white wig and colourful dress making circles in a pond
Addio del Passato (2012). Film© Courtesy Yinka Shonibare / James Cohen Gallery, New York / Stephen Friedman Gallery, London
A photo of a man in an extremely colourful Tudor costumed draped over a bed
Fake Death (The Suicide – Leonardo Alenza) (2011). Edition of five digital chromogenic prints© Courtesy Yinka Shonibare / James Cohen Gallery, New York / Stephen Friedman Gallery, London
A photo of a figure in a dark red colourful costume working with some sort of cannon
Cannonball Heaven (2011). Standing figure, kneeling figure, 580 cannonballs© Courtesy Yinka Shonibare / Stephen Friedman Gallery, London
A photo of a spindly elaborate plane with wheels and various multicoloured elements
Alien Woman On Flying Machine (2012). Steel, aluminium, brass, batik and rubber (front view, suspended work)© Courtesy Yinka Shonibare / Anna Schwartz Gallery, Sydney
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