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Yinka Shonibare CBE RA: End of Empire

Thursday, April 4

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

Monday, February 26
Untitled design (48)
MIRROR presents a solo exhibition by Cornwall based artist Ben Sanderson as part of South West Showcase 2024.
Tuesday, February 27
Untitled design (44)
In 1755, the impoverished Captain Ludvig Kahlen sets out to conquer the uninhabitable Danish heath in the name of the King.
Tuesday, February 27
Untitled design (45)
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.
Wednesday, February 28
Untitled design (44)
In 1755, the impoverished Captain Ludvig Kahlen sets out to conquer the uninhabitable Danish heath in the name of the King.

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