Past Event

The British Library

1 Feb 2014

As the lead artist for this year’s HOUSE, Yinka Shonibare MBE’s new sculptural installation explores the impact of immigration on all aspects of British culture and considers notions of territory and place, cultural identity, displacement and refuge.

The shelves of the Old Reference Library are filled with books colourfully bound in Shonibare’s trademark wax cloth (itself a cross-cultural hybrid of Indonesian design and Dutch manufacture). On the spines are the names of people, both celebrated and unfamiliar, who, as immigrants, made unique contributions to our way of life; people like TS Eliot, Henry James, Hans Holbein, Kazuo Ishiguro, Zaha Hadid and many more.

Yinka Shonibare MBE’s work aims to make visible the cultural influences of colonisation and explore the rich complexity of post-colonial cultures; the ornate interior of the Old Reference Library, with its Raj-inspired architecture, is therefore the perfect setting for an installation that asks us to evaluate our attitudes to immigration and immigrants.

Related events

Visual Arts and Film
Past event

Brighton Palermo Remix

In a major Brighton Festival and HOUSE 2012 co-commission, this internationally renowned artist draws connections between Sicilian street festival decoration…

1 Jan 2012
Books and Debate
Past event

5 x 15

Following on from last year’s sell-out event, five speakers from diverse backgrounds and professions battle the clock to tell the story behind their most…

1 Jan 2012
Children and Family
Past event

Bee Detective

Sophie Bee’s busy life is a happy buzz of pollen seeking, dancing with her fellow bees and making yummy honey. But when the worker bees begin to disappear,…

1 Jan 2012