"Mayflower, All Flowers"

2020, relief print with woodblock and fabric collage on Somerset Tub Sized Satin paper, 111.5 x 103 cm

"Mayflower, All Flowers" was created to mark the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower ship to America and explores principles of democracy, equality and human rights. The sails of the iconic ship are decorated with Yinka Shonibare CBE’s signature material, ‘African’ batik fabric. This brightly coloured fabric was inspired by Indonesian design, mass-produced by the Dutch and eventually sold to the colonies in West Africa. In the 1960s, the material became a new emblem of African identity and independence. For Shonibare, the history of the fabric serves as a metaphor for migration and cross-cultural connections.

Anatoly Kryvolap

About the artist

Yinka Shonibare (b. 1962) – born in in London, UK, studied Fine Art at Byam Shaw School of Art, London (1989) and received his MFA from Goldsmiths, University of London (1991).
His interdisciplinary practice uses citations of Western art history and literature to question the validity of contemporary cultural and national identities within the context of globalization. Through examining race, class and the construction of cultural identity, his works comment on the tangled interrelationship between Africa and Europe, and their respective economic and political histories.
In 2013, he was elected a Royal Academician and was awarded the honour of ‘Commander of the Order of the British Empire’ in 2019. His installation ‘The British Library’ was acquired by Tate, London in 2019.
Shonibare’s works are in notable museum collections internationally, including the Tate Collection, London; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D.C; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; National Gallery of Modern Art in Rome and VandenBroek Foundation, The Netherlands.