Thursday, 26 February 2015

Thursday 26th Feb: Yinka Shonibare "Family Album" at The William Morris Gallery

Last evening the William Morris Gallery hosted a special Q&A with Yinka Shonibare MBE about his current commissioned exhibition at the space "Family Album".  The artist explored the archives of the family's photographic portraits and chose three to re-interpret.  He put out an open-call to the residents of Waltham Forest to cast the characters and had a great response of numbers from which to conjure up the concept.  Here are the full colour prints presented next to the sepia tone originals and the costumes displayed to appreciate the detail of the dress.  Yinka's signature use of Dutch Wax Fabrics carried thru in this project, referring to Morriss's own appreciation for Indian fabrics in reference to the Indonesian origin of the West African textile.  It sits perfectly alongside the permanent collection which outlines the influence from the Indian patterns and dyeing process on Morriss's Arts & Crafts fabrics.  The point was raised that although the Victorian photographs are black and white, the real-life colour would have been bright, according to the fashion of the time.  Yinka explained how he imagined William Morris would have embraced this show's focus on inclusion of the local community.  Morris radical and revolutionary socialist preoccupation and activism is also outlined in the gallery so visitors can learn about both artists shared political motivations in their work.  Check out Yinka's site to find out about his studio's guest projects and see the gallery's schedule for more events and workshops as part of the "Family Album" season.

Photos of both the exhibition work, research books and badges in the gift shop.

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