Yinka Shonibare CBE RA launches new charity print
Yinka Shonibare CBE and five other leading British artists have each made a new limited-edition print that will be distributed in UK schools to inspire children and support the teaching of Black histories. Hurvin Anderson, Alvaro Barrington, Frank Bowling, Lubaina Himid, Claudette Johnson and Yinka Shonibare CBE have all contributed to the Hepworth Wakefield School Prints initiative.
School Prints revives a groundbreaking scheme set up in the 1940s to supply original, high-quality contemporary art to primary schools. All profits raised by the sale of the prints will fund an in-depth engagement programme led by artists and creative practitioners to encourage creativity across the curriculum in participating schools. Artists who have taken part in The Hepworth Wakefield’s revival of the scheme include Fiona Banner, Sir Peter Blake, Sir Michael Craig-Martin, Martin Creed, Jeremy Deller, Anthea Hamilton, Helen Marten, Haroon Mirza, Laure Prouvost, Linder Sterling, Francis Upritchard, Richard Wentworth and Rose Wylie.
Yinka Shonibare CBE has contributed ‘Aristocrat in Blue’, 2020, an edition of 40 (plus artist and school proofs) authenticated by Yinka Shonibare Studio. The print is available to purchase now from The Hepworth Wakefield, priced at £700.
‘This image of the female ‘Aristocrat’ is based on a series which playfully tries to deconstruct icons of ‘Western Power’ by de-westernising them through masking their faces with African masks. I like to play with the idea of parodying excessive lifestyles, such as those who lived privileged lives in the 18th century – in particular the opulence of the Ancient Regime in France. These lifestyles were enabled by colonisation and the slave trade, and by making visual connections between the origins of their wealth, I like to explore the power relations between both worlds. I have drawn Dogon-style animal masks from Mali, West Africa, to cover the faces of the aristocrats and incorporated actual ‘Dutch wax’ batik pattern to create a 21st-century cultural hybrid.’ - Yinka Shonibare CBE, 2020