On Sunday, older son and I had planned on traveling to Wheaton, IL to see some giant sculptures of fantastical creatures, but when each of us had nightmares the night before, we decided to postpone the trip. Instead we went to one of our favorite places to walk, Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park. Not only does the place have those things, it has some very nice exhibit galleries. A large show by British artist, Yinka Shonibare, took up the galleries in a vibrant and colorful, textured way.
A little about Yinka, who is a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE,) taken from the brochure I picked up at the exhibit:
Yinka was born in London to Nigerian parents and raised in Lagos, Nigeria, where he spoke Yoruba at home and English at the private school he attended. His identity is shaped by growing up located between center and margin of the British Empire. Postcolonialism and hybridity define his artistic and political identity and are major themes in his prodigious artistic output.
The name of the exhibit is, “Planets in My Head.” There were so many pieces in the exhibit, there was no way I could take pictures of them all. Besides the strong political messages to be found within the pieces some wonderful continuing threads between them include globes for heads; richly textured and skillfully constructed clothing on the figures with vibrant colors; very neat, stylish shoes (most of them, but a few are scuffed;) and the use of what looks like cheap plastic objects to fill spaces. Also there was one wall with very large photographs in a series that was based on the story of the painting of Dorian Gray (per son, who read the info on the placard near them.) The closest artist I can think of that works with multi-media like this is Ai Weiwei. The political symbolism is strong in the pieces.
LEARN MORE ABOUT YINKA AND HIS ART HERE
After we left the exhibit galleries we went out and walked around some. I found a shortcut to the cherry grove. At the entrance to the grove stands this very large boulder:
If you look closely, there is a quote engraved on this beautiful boulder (please, tell me why it was necessary to carve into this boulder.)
After checking out the grove, we headed over to the bonsai and zen gardens. They bring them in in winter time, but for now they are enjoying their space. I only took a couple of pics of the trees.
Last pic is of a rose of sharon blossom.