[by Pelu Awofeso]

A six-metre fibre-glass-and-steel ‘Wind Sculpture‘ by British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare (MBE) has been installed at the Ndubuisi Kanu Park in the Alausa area of Lagos. Part of the British Council’s UK-Nigeria Cultural Season 2015-16, the exhibition will be on till 31 January 2017.

Wind Sculpture installed at Ndubuisi Kanu Park

Shonibare is expected in Nigeria on Wednesday 24 November and he will headline a series of events over three days, including a welcome reception (24th), lecture to students of visual arts (25th) and  screening of three of the artist’s  installation films (27th). All events begin at 3pm local time.

The sculpture’s interplay of bright colours is patterned after the Dutch-wax fabric (commonly known in southwest Nigeria as Ankara) which has become a signature of Shonibare’s works for many years. The objects in nearly all of his commissioned works in the past 20 years–Scramble for Africa, Trumpet Boy, Butterfly Kid, Adam & Eve, Balloon Man and Magical ladder, to mention just some–are dressed in the same fabrics, widely worn in West Africa.

According to the British Council, “Wind Sculpture VI forms part of a series of important large-scale works that marked a new departure for Shonibare by working in fibre-glass and steel.” it goes on to say that: “Using these materials, Shonibare investigates the shifting movement of wind passing through fabric. In these grand sculptures, the artist encapsulates the sheer volume of wind three-dimensionally with exquisite dynamism.”

Shonibare has had a packed 2016, his  works on exhibitions in far flung venues across the world, from Singapore and Japan to  Ireland and the USA.

[Read Shonibare’s biography here.And a gallery of his mannequin sculptures here.]

The first and second wind sculpture were first installed at Yorkshire Sculpture Park in 2013 and the third at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. The closest wind-themed work by the artist to the wind installations is the Wind Chair, commissioned in 2014.

“In 2014, a unique edition of the series was installed permanently on public display at Howick Place, Victoria, London,” says the British Council.

No doubt, this installation will pull the Lagos crowd to a spot in the state capital, though new and inviting, that is largely overlooked, more so as the Christmas holiday season approaches.

Yinka Shonibare MBE: End of Empire
Yinka Shonibare MBE (picture courtesy Getty Images/ John Philips