Public work
Tuesday 7 July 2020

Yinka Shonibare's 'Wind Sculpture (SG) V' goes on public view

The Greenway Public Park, Boston, Massachusetts

British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare CBE’s new work 'Wind Sculpture (SG) V' has been installed in a contemplative garden of The Greenway Public Park in Boston, Massachusetts.

In the ‘Wind Sculptures (SG)’ series, the artist investigates the shifting movement of wind passing through fabric, with the sculpture’s deeply rippled surface resembling a ship’s sail billowing in the breeze. The fluid and graceful forms are taken from photographs of wind being blown into the actual batik fabrics. This process poetically echoes the organic concave and convex shapes created in nature. Made from industrial materials usually used in the construction of buildings, the series plays with the idea of capturing the volume of wind. “I wanted to defy gravity. To do something that actually looks soft, but it's made out of hard materials, like fiberglass and metal,” says Shonibare. 

At 22 feet high, this sculpture has a majestic presence with brightly coloured, hand-painted surfaces replicating the complex patterns of the artist’s signature fabrics. Shonibare dramatically scales up his customary Dutch wax batik fabric beyond its traditional size. This lends the ‘Wind Sculpture (SG)’ a magical quality that deliberately plays on initial perceptions and frames of reference, a thread running throughout Shonibare’s practice.

Examples of the original 'Wind Sculpture' series have been installed in locations across the world: Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield, UK (2013); Frieze London Sculpture Park, London, UK (2013); National Maritime Museum, Royal Museums Greenwich, London, UK (2013); Gerisch Stiftung, Neumünster, Germany (2014); HS Projects, London, UK (2014); MCA Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA (2014); Ndubuisi Kanu Park, with the British Council, Lagos, Nigeria (2016); The Royal Academy, London, UK (2017); Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Washington, DC, USA (2016).

In the below clip from Open Studio with Jared Bowen, Shonibare discusses how his career took off and this recent Boston commission.

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