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Yinka Shonibare CBE RA: End of Empire

Thursday, May 16

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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

Wednesday, July 17
Untitled design (13)
Bringing together four distinct painters – Bernadette Kerrigan, Chris Martin, Daniel Pettitt, and EJ Hauser – Everything That Happens Will Happen Today explores the formal and informal ways each of them make sense of the world through paint.
Saturday, July 20
Untitled design (25)
Hettie Judah, writer and exhibition curator, shares insights from her research for her book, Acts of Creation: On Art and Motherhood which explores the joys, messes, myths and mishaps of parenting through visual culture.
Wednesday, July 24
Untitled design (24)
Take a deeper lunchtime look into ‘The Time is Always Now: Artists Reframe the Black Figure’.
Saturday, July 27
Untitled design (3)
Come and immerse yourselves in an exhibition that explores pivotal moments in Plymouth’s past and present relationship with the sea.

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