In 2023, Turner Prize nominee Yinka Shonibare will be unveiling a sculpture in Leeds in memory of the Nigerian migrant David Oluwale- who died as a result of police harassment in 1969. Shonibare will talk about his artistic vision, his work and his response to the David Oluwale story with Emily Zobel Marshall, Leeds Beckett academic and Co-Chair of the David Oluwale Memorial Association.
Shonibare considers identity and colonialism in his work; examining race, class and the construction of cultural identity. His work comments on the tangled interrelationship between Africa and Europe, and their respective economic and political histories.
This Black History Month, Leeds Beckett University will be celebrating the history, lives and achievements of Black communities in Yorkshire and across the globe.
Yinka Shonibare CBE RA. Courtesy the artist and Royal Academy of Arts, London. Photographed by Marcus Leith, 2014
Yinka CBE RA London, UK, studied Fine Art at Byam Shaw School of Art, London (1989) and received his MFA from Goldsmiths, University of London (1991).
In 2004, Shonibare was nominated for the Turner Prize. In 2010, his first public art commission ‘Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle’ was displayed on the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square, London and is in the permanent collection of the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London.
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 in 2019 and is currently on display at Tate Modern, London.
This year, Shonibare was awarded the prestigious Whitechapel Gallery Art Icon Award. A major retrospective of his work opened at Museum der Moderne in Salzburg, Austria, in May. He is co-ordinating the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, London, which opens in September.
Dr Emily Zobel Marshall teaches courses on African-American, Caribbean, African and Black British literature. Her research specialisms are Caribbean literature and Caribbean carnival cultures.
Emily is a specialist on the trickster figure in the folklore, oral cultures and literature of the African Diaspora and has published widely in these fields. Her first book, Anansi’s Journey: A Story of Jamaican Cultural Resistance (2012) was published by the University of the West Indies Press and her second book, American Trickster: Trauma Tradition and Brer Rabbit, was published by Rowman and Littlefield in 2019.
Emily has also established a Caribbean Carnival Cultures research platform and network that aims to bring the critical, creative, academic and artistic aspects of carnival into dialogue with one another. She is active in consulting local and national organisations and institutions on issues of race, diversity and inclusion. She is also the Co-Chair of the David Oluwale Memorial Association.
Alongside her academic writing, Emily develops her poetry and has had poems published in a range of journals and literary magazines. She is Creative Associate of the art-based youth charity the Geraldine Connor Foundation.