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Studio Sunday: Yinka Shonibare

A photo of the interior of Yinka Shonibare's studio, with the artist and two assistants at work.


Today on studio Sunday we’re looking at the studio space of British artist Yinka Shonibare. Shonibare is a mixed media artist whose works often use brightly coloured pieces of fabric. Conceptually, the works explore themes such as colonialism, globalization and identity. Shonibare has a condition which paralyses one side of his body. For this reason he enlists the help of a number of assistants in the production of his artworks.


Yinka Shonibare works out of his studio in east London. The artist’s studio is both a traditional workspace - where he plans ideas, draws and holds meetings with assistants – and a place for seminars, film screenings and projects.


The artist is very open with his space and allows other artists and interested parties to visit his studio and create a dialogue. A suggestion box outside the studio invites younger, up-and-coming artists to leave proposals for projects. The artist selects three projects from the box each year to show in his space, offering new artists a chance to show their work and gain some mentorship for Shonibare. I'm really a fan of this idea - it's like creating the studio as an artwork


I love the look and feel of Shonibare’s studio. It looks packed, but not messy. There are bright colours and wonderfully tactile objects peeking out of every corner, from the bright abstract works on the wall, to the box packed with what could be maquettes or toys, to the table that seems to be totally overflowing with ideas and sketches. I get a positive vibe from this studio and it seems like a really inviting space to create and bounce ideas around. 

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About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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