YINKA SHONIBARE CBE

The Princess Estelle Cultural Foundation has the pleasure of presenting the artist of 2022 at Royal Djurgården: Yinka Shonibare CBE – one of the world’s currently most widely-acknowledged and successful artists. Thanks to a private donation, the cultural foundation will acquire a new sculpture by Yinka Shonibare. This will be the third work in Princess Estelle’s Sculpture Park, which the foundation together with the Royal Djurgården administration is establishing in the Rosendal area.

Shonibare’s sculpture is inaugurated on June 2 by H.K.H. Prince Daniel, and until September 25, various art education programs and events will be offered in collaboration with 13 other institutions. This year’s partners are the British Embassy, Drottningholm Castle Theater, the Ethnographic Museum, the Stockholm School of Economics, Konstfack, the Royal Djurgården Administration, Liljevalchs, Magasin III Museum of Contemporary Art, Moderna Museet, the National Museum, the Nigerian Embassy, Rosendals Trädgård and the Technical Museum.

Yinka Shonibare CBE was born in London in 1962, grew up in her family’s native Nigeria, then returned to the UK to study art school and has had an outstanding career since the early 90’s.

CBE is a title that Shonibare added to his name two years ago, when he was appointed Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. This is just one of many prestigious awards he has received since being nominated for the Turner Prize in 2004. Shonibare is a member of the Royal Academy in London, he is represented in several of our contemporary most important art collections and has also participated in the Venice Biennale, documenta XI, and exhibitions at leading museums around the world.

What Yinka Shonibare CBE has become known for is the work in different techniques; painting, photography, performance, film and sculpture, where he started from Western art history to explore the concepts of cultural and national identity. His signature material is the colorful batik fabric that is considered genuinely African despite having a completely different origin. The fabrics are in fact inspired by Indonesian design, mass-produced by Dutch people in the 19th century who sold them on to European colonies in West Africa. There, the textiles became very popular, which led to them ironically becoming a symbol of the African quest for liberation and independence in the 1960s.

Shonibare, who describes himself as a “postcolonial hybrid”, regards his most crucial work material, pseudo-African cotton batik fabrics, as a metaphor for migration.  “The material has the ability to be Dutch, Indonesian and African at the same time. For me, the fabrics are a symbol of cross-cultural connections,” says Yinka Shonibare CBE.

Yinka Shonibare CBE RA, 2014 Photographer: Marcus Leith RA