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The Truth is Out There - Yinka Shonibare

Article relating to an exhibition, 2012
Published by: Sydney Morning Herald
Year published: 2012
Number of pages: 2

image of The Truth is Out There - Yinka Shonibare

The following descriptions of Invasion, Escape: Aliens Do It Right! exhibition by Yinka Shonibare was written by Steve Dow and appeared in Spectrum, a weekend supplement of the Sydney Morning Herald, June 16-17 2012, pages 10-11. The exhibition took place at Anna Schwartz Gallery, June 27 - August 11 2012. The exhibition featured, in part, Shonibare’s ‘Aliens’ such as those he had made for exhibitions in the UK some years earlier, and Flying Machines’, such as those he had made for exhibitions in the US, again, some years earlier.

“Shonibare’s Sydney exhibition, Invasion, Escape: Aliens Do It Right!, features new paintings, drawings and sculptures, including two “flying machines”.

The central work is a massive “Alien Painting”, consisting of 75 round batik paintings studded with Lego men and Star Wars paraphernalia, playing again with notions of citizenship and nationalism.

Twenty-four drawings on paper deal specifically with Australia’s migration history, incorporating passenger lists from England, accounts of the Tampa crisis and detention centre locations. The drawings are arranged in the shape of the Aboriginal flag.”

Titled The Truth is Out There, the piece carried the subheading, Artist Yinka Shonibare delives a serious message with wit and whimsy, writes STEVE DOW. The piece opened with references to Shonibare’s apparent surprise at what he and others percieve to be Australia’s discriminatory policies towards refugees. “When Yinka Shonibare visited Sydney three years ago, the British-born, Nigerian-raised artist was surprised to read newspaper reports about the treatment of asylum seekers.

The acclaimed painter, sculptor, filmmaker and photographer. who was in town for a major mid-career survey exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art, was taken aback by Australia’s preoccupation with boat arrivals and the political panacea of mandatory detention.

“I was quite surprised,” he says. “You might think Australia would be more sympathetic [to refugees], just because of its history.””

The piece goes on to describe the works in the exhibition, followed by a descussion of Shonibare’s acceptance of an MBE and his pronounced use of the letters as a professional post-nominal.

The piece came with a sizeable portrait of Shonibare (uncredited) plus reproductions of one of the artist’s ‘Aliens’ and one of the artist’s ‘Flying Machines’.


Related people

»  Steve Dow

»  Yinka Shonibare MBE RA

Born, 1962 in London, England

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