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Yinka Shonibare CBE RA: End of Empire

Thursday, December 21

Exhibition runs from 12 October 2023-23 June 2024
Closed for Christmas/New Year on 23, 24, 25, 26 and 31 December and 1 January

Opening hours are 10am-5pm Tuesday-Sunday
Free entry

See a striking large-scale sculpture that comments on the balance of power at the outset of the First World War, making a visual connection between the conflicts of the West, globalisation and empire.

Commissioned by 14-18 NOW, ‘End of Empire’ features two dapper figures with globe heads on a steam-punk seesaw. The globes represent the two ‘sides’ in the First World War: the British-French allies versus the Austro-Hungarians and Germans. The War witnessed the disappearance of four once-powerful realms (German, Habsburg, Ottoman and Russian), and the seesaw swings slowly, constantly rebalancing – a symbol of the move towards this ‘end of empire’.

The figures wear brightly coloured suits made of ‘Dutch wax’ textiles: fabric that tells a story about colonial history with designs that indicate the African lands formerly colonised by Europeans.

Yinka Shonibare’s ‘End of Empire’ sculpture is sure to get you thinking.

Upcoming events

Thursday, February 29
box
At The Box Plymouth this winter season
Thursday, February 29
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Jonathan Glazer (Birth, Under the Skin) offers his most ambitious film yet, displacing the usual tropes of the Holocaust drama to depict the pampered life of executioners.
Thursday, February 29
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Discover how early twentieth century artists designed and cultivated their own gardens to explore contemporary utopian ideas and motifs of colour and form.
Thursday, February 29
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Experience the UK premiere of a major new multi-screen film commission by visionary artist and filmmaker John Akomfrah.

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