The Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy has announced the installation of new artwork by renowned British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare. Shonibare’s Wind Sculpture (SG) V will be on display for one year and will join five other artworks currently on display on The Greenway.
In his artwork, British Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare explores colonialism and post-colonialism within the contemporary context of globalization. The 22’–tall sculpture, located in the contemplative garden on The Greenway just north of Dewey Square, features a new variation of Shonibare’s trademark batik that appears to harness the wind and freeze it in a moment of time. Batik, which we now regard as traditional African cloth, is based on Indonesian batik fabric first brought to Africa by Dutch traders in the 1800s.
Throughout Shonibare’s work, the material serves as a metaphor for our contemporary cultures, which, like the “African” batik, are the result of centuries of cross-cultural exchange. By referencing both this hybrid fabric and the powerful yet invisible nature of wind, the work suggests that identity is always a richly layered and dynamic set of relationships, while evoking a sense of freedom, possibility, and optimism.
“My work is about celebrating the diversity of communities and highlighting our connections,” says artist Yinka Shonibare. “I do not ever underestimate the importance of public access to such basic principles of inclusion.”
Yinka’s work joins new artwork by Mexican-American master folk artist Catalina Delgado-Trunk—Global Connections: Mesoamerican Myths, the Domestication of Nourishment, and its Distribution—that was installed earlier this summer.