Yinka Shonibare CBE: Justice For All
Yinka Shonibare’s Justice For All monumentally re-opens Stephen Friedman Gallery. Viewed from the street, the sculpture is given all the public focus she deserves, illuminat-ed 24/7.
Presented for the first time in the UK, the work reconfigures F.W. Pomeroy’s Lady Justice (1905-1906), a figure so famous she lives vividly in the mind, seen, as she is, atop the dome of London’s Old Bailey. Shonibare, whose oeuvre investigates notions of imperial-ist authority and power, has dressed her in ‘African’ batik, wowing with colour and beau-ty. Her right arm is outstretched holding a sword, the scales of justice balancing in her left. She is reinterpreted for an interior setting, whilst retaining the dramatic impact of iconic public sculpture.
“I wanted to think about Justice, especially in the light of George Floyd’s tragic death,” says British-Nigerian artist Shonibare. “This particular work was exhibited at Singapore’s Old Parliament House earlier this year. Justice has to be equally applied. People of Afri-can origin do not seem to have fair justice. Those injustices have always been there and things have to change. Some of these issues I’ve explored in my work have been going on for thirty years and I’m sad to think that those things are still going on.”
In light of recent events and the Black Lives Matter movement, Stephen Friedman Gallery has been amplifying its artists’ voices in solidarity with the cause.
Yinka Shonibare CBE: Justice For All; 15th June – 31st July 2020, Stephen Friedman Gallery, 25-28 Old Burlington Street, London W1.