Yinka Shonibare CBE | Art Basel Artwork in Focus | Stephen Friedman Gallery

Artwork in Focus: Art Basel 2020. Yinka Shonibare CBE, 'British Library Collections (Writers)'






Artwork in Focus: Art Basel 2020. Yinka Shonibare CBE, ‘British Library Collections (Writers)’

For the duration of Art Basel’s second Online Viewing Room, Stephen Friedman Gallery is highlighting one work every day from its virtual booth. Each focussed newsletter offers a closer look into the artist’s process and the themes raised by the selected work. Over the next three days, the gallery will be sharing works by Denzil ForresterMarina Adams and Leilah Babirye.


Yinka Shonibare CBE‘s ‘British Library Collections’ series is at once a celebration of the diversity of the British population and an instigator for debate. Each collection is composed of a set of shelves filled with books bound in Shonibare’s signature Dutch wax batik fabric. Inscribed in gold lettering on the spines of many of the books are the names of people, both celebrated and less well known, who have shaped the British cultural landscape and contributed to their field of expertise. The collection categories include: activists; actors; artists; business leaders; dancers; designers; female artists; historians; musicians and sports personalities.

Each collection honours the ongoing contributions made to British society by people who have arrived in the country from other parts of the world, or whose ancestors came to Britain as immigrants. In addition, each collection also gives voice to the opposing side of the debate by featuring the names of those who have objected to immigration on some book spines. Whilst each ‘British Library Collection’ celebrates the significant contributions that people who have come to Great Britain have made to the culture and life of their adopted land, Shonibare’s work does not exclude the points of view of those who oppose Britain’s immigration policy. Shonibare invites the viewer to consider the issue of global migration and explore the complexity of this relevant and emotive subject.

Click here to explore the OVR.

Artwork in Focus: Art Basel 2020. Yinka Shonibare CBE, 'British Library Collections (Writers)'
User Review
0 (0 votes)
Martin Cid
Martin Cidhttps://martincid.com/author/martincid/
Founder and editor on MCM. Author of 14 books
Share this


Total Lunar Eclipse on View May 15-16

On the night of May 15, and into the early hours of May 16, skywatchers will be treated to a phenomenon which takes place...

Operation Mincemeat (2021). Netflix Moviews. Reviews

Operation Mincemeat is a 2021 thriller directed by John Madden. Starring Colin Firth. With Matthew Macfadyen, Mark Gatiss and Kelly MacDonald. Plot During IIWW in 1943...

Vampire in the Garden (2022). Netflix TV Series

Vampire in the Garden is a new Netflix TV series directed by Ryotaro Makihara based on the characters created by Tetsuya Nishio. Plot Momo and Fine,...

Recent articles

More like this

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments