Leading Anglo-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare will make history when his artwork is unveiled at London’s Trafalgar Square on May 24.Shonibare will be the first black British artist whose work will grace the Fourth Plinth in the north-west of Trafalgar Square.
Built in 1841, the plinth was originally built for an equestrian statue but lay empty for many years. Now specially commissioned pieces feature on it.
Shonibare’s artwork for the plinth is titled “Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle,” and combines elements of the British Empire as well as his African background.
The sails of Nelsons ships are made from colorful African fabrics, which Shonibare sources from Brixton market in south London.
In a statement released by the Mayor of London’s office, who commissioned the piece, he said: “A ship in a bottle is an object of wonder. Adults and children are intrigued by its mystery.
“How can such towering masts and billowing sails fit inside such a commonplace object? With ‘Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle,’ I want to take this childhood sense of wonder and amplify it to match the monumental scale of Trafalgar Square.
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