BBC Learning Zone Clips

CLIP 11855

Yinka Shonibare's artistic inspiration

Yinka Shonibare's artistic inspiration
Key Info
  • Yinka Shonibare's artistic inspiration
  • Duration: 03:53
  • At the time of Shonibare’s major exhibition at the Smithsonian African Art Museum in the US, curator Karen Milbourne talks about his background, inspiration and reference points. She describes him as ‘bicultural’, being born to Jamaican parents in London but living for much of his childhood in Lagos, Nigeria. This biculturalism manifests itself in his work through complex use of materials and imagery, for example the use of ‘Dutch wax’ printed cloth; popular in West Africa, but having its roots inIndonesia, the Netherlands and the UK . She describes how Shonibare has also tackled the issue of the global oil industry, as well as utilising diverse historical references and echoes of colonialism. She discusses how his acceptance of the MBE has enabled him to see himself as a ‘Trojan horse’ within the British Empire and the establishment. This clip was first published on BBC World News Online on 21 November 2009. Please note this clip is only available in Flash.
  • Subject:

    Art and Design


    Critical and Contextual Referencing

  • Keywords: sculpture, installation, mannequin, Yinka Shonibare, Smithsonian, Dutch wax, colonialism, West Africa, Nigeria, Lagos, african art, artist
Ideas for use in class
  • To stimulate critical and contextual studies of other artists’ work; to support a project on contemporary British artists; to complement study of Yinka Shonibare.
Background details
  • Clip language : English
  • Aspect ratio : 16x9

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