While not new to fabric as an artistic medium, Yinka Shonibare MBE had the freedom during his residency at FWM to create custom print designs for the textiles that would clothe figures in a new installation. Titled Space Walk, the installation ventures into the new frontier of American exploration—space. A man and woman—dressed in brightly colored space suits, and wearing backpacks and helmets—float near a half-scale fiberglass and wood copy of the Apollo 13 shuttle. Pioneers of space, the couple refashions concepts of expansion, exploration, and potential colonization.
British, born 1962, lives and works in the East End of London.
Yinka Shonibare MBE was born in London and raised in Lagos, Nigeria, where his family moved when he was three. He returned to London at the age of 17 to study fine art, first at Byam Shaw College of Art (now Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design), and later for his MFA at Goldsmith’s College, University of London. In 2004, Shonibare was shortlisted for Britain’s prestigious Turner Prize, and in 2005 was bestowed the distinction of Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE), a title he has now added to his professional name.
A major retrospective of Shonibare’s work was mounted by the MCA Sydney in 2008 and traveled to the Brooklyn Museum and the Museum of African Art at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC. His one-person shows include a major exhibition at the Studio Museum in Harlem in 2002, and others organized by the Tate Britain in London (2001), The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh (2001), the Victoria and Albert Museum in London (2000), and the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto (1997). His work has been exhibited internationally at the Venice Biennale as well as at Documenta 10 (2002).