Yinka Shonibare MBE is to create work for the William Morris Gallery's first major commission: a Morris-inspired photographic exhibition. The British Nigerian artist will work with Waltham Forest residents to recreate photographs of Morris's family from the Gallery's collection. Some of the sitters wear Victorian costume, refashioned from "African" batik fabric created especially for the project. The work encourages viewers to reflect on Morris's political views by connecting his socialist ideals with the history of Empire.
Morris is a natural subject for Shonibare, whose interest in the Victorian Age, imperialism and the global textile trade has informed much of his work. Inspired by his visits to the Gallery, Shonibare worked with curators to explore Morris's ideas and the wider social context of Waltham Forest.
The free exhibition will be accompanied by an extensive education and events programme.
The artist will be in a Q&A at William Morris Gallery on Wednesday 25 February at 7pm.
‘Yinka Shonibare MBE - The William Morris Family Album' runs from 7 February until 7 June 2015.
Yinka Shonibare MBE at William Morris Gallery.