Artist Yinka Shonibare CBE at Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park on 082322

resized Yinka Shonibare portrait
Yinka Shonibare CBE

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.

resized description of the exhibit

resized woman at desk
This is the first piece in the exhibit, a woman sitting at a desk.

resized bookshelf

resized closeup of books

resized family walking up stairs

resized little girl on stairs

angel wings with scuffed shoes

resized food man
The name of this one is, “Food Man”

resized wall of decorative circles

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:

resized narcissus stone

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.)

closeup of narcissus stone

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.

resized bonsai ginkgo
bonsai ginkgo (of course!)
resized bonsai ponderosa pine
bonsai ponderosa pine (with my water bottle)
resized bonsai hinoki false cypress
gorgeous bonsai of hinoki false cypress

 

Last pic is of a rose of sharon blossom. 

resized rose of sharon blossom

 

 

 

16 Comments Add yours

  1. Sadje says:

    A beautiful place. love the art. Excellent

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Sadje, it really is a sanctuary. Always leave feeling refreshed. They keep things ever-changing there so always something new to see. They also bring in world-renowned artists like Yinka 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sadje says:

        A beautiful place to visit. 😍

        Liked by 1 person

  2. memadtwo says:

    Yinka’s art reminds me a lot of Nick Cave. Wonderful color and spirit.
    And a beautiful day in the garden as well. I’ve never seen a bonsai ginko before. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Kerfe, I only know Cave as a musician. Happily surprised he does other art. The garden keeps growing in size and variety and always draws in the best exhibits. I love the ginkgo and the false cypress. It’s difficult to imagine them so small when looking at the pictures of them.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. memadtwo says:

        Nick Cave the artist is totally different than Nick Cave the musician. Google Nick Cave soundsuits and you’ll see.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. msjadeli says:

          Oh WOW, Kerfe, I see what you mean.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. memadtwo says:

            He’s amazing.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. msjadeli says:

              They are enough alike to make me wonder which came first, the chicken or the egg.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. memadtwo says:

                We can reflect each other in different mediums for sure.

                Liked by 1 person

  3. Suzanne says:

    I enjoyed this post a great deal. Just last night I was leafing through a book I have on Yinka Shonibare. I like the pieces you have featured here – I hadn’t seen them before. The books covered in the trade cloth are thought provoking.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Suzanne so synchronous! The exhibit feels alive, with everyone/everything in motion. I noticed in one of the photos at his website he is in a wheelchair. Does the book say anything about that?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Suzanne says:

        I watched a video about him some years ago. He has a degenerative condition. I’m not sure what but it is very debilitating and gets progressively worse. He designs his installations and gets a team of people to make them for him.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. msjadeli says:

          He sublimates the pain into art. A teacher for us all. Thanks for the info. I know Ai Weiwei and Dale Chihuly both use teams to manifest their designs also.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Suzanne says:

            Yes, quite a few post modern artists do.

            Liked by 1 person

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