Yinka Shonibare unveils artwork evoking ‘collaboration’ for diplomatic buildings

Yinka Shonibare has created a new artwork evoking the “spirit of collaboration”, which will be on display at government buildings around the world.

Each year a British artist is commissioned to produce a print to go on show in diplomatic buildings.

Shonibare, famous for his Nelson’s Ship In A Bottle installation which stood on the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square, has designed a woodcut print and fabric collage titled Hibiscus And The Rose.

Artist Yinka Shonibare speaks to guests via live stream
Artist Yinka Shonibare speaks to guests via live stream

The artist’s new work was inspired by his childhood in Nigeria and his garden in England.

He said: “Hibiscus And The Rose is an expression of cultural exchange between Britain and the rest of the world.

“The hibiscus is a genus of numerous species of herbs, shrubs, and trees in the mallow family (Malvaceae) widely found in many of the warmer temperate Commonwealth countries.

“The rose is the national flower of England and has a long tradition within English symbolism.”

Yinka Shonibare is famous for his work Nelson’s Ship In A Bottle, previously on the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square, London
Yinka Shonibare is famous for his work Nelson’s Ship In A Bottle, previously on the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square, London

The work symbolises “an exploration of Britain’s colonial past and its current relationship with its former colonies”, he said.

The artist added that he wanted to “capture the spirit of collaboration” and the print is designed to reflect that “we all have to work together”.

– The commission, the Robson Orr TenTen Award, is presented by the Government Art Collection with the Outset Contemporary Art Fund and is sponsored by philanthropists Sybil Robson Orr and Matthew Orr.