Yinka Shonibare End of Empire

Yinka Shonibare CBE RA: End of Empire

See a strik­ing large-scale sculp­ture that com­ments on the bal­ance of pow­er at the out­set of the First World War.

12/10/23 – 16/06/24
Opening Times
Sunday, 10:00 – 17:00
Monday, Closed
Tue–Sat, 10:00 – 17:00
'End of Empire' makes a visual connection between the conflicts of the West, globalisation and empire.

Commissioned by 14-18 NOW, the sculpture 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.
Yinka Shonibare End of Empire