GTBank, British Council Showcase Yinka Shonibare’s First Outdoor Sculpture in Nigeria
Africa’s foremost financial institution, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, has partnered the British Council, the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities, to sponsor the installation of the Wind Sculpture VI by renowned British-Nigerian artist, Yinka Shonibare MBE in Ndubuisi Kanu Park, Ikeja, Lagos.
The installation of the Wind Sculpture VI will be the first time that Shonibare’s work has gone on public display in Nigeria. The fibreglass artwork, six metres high by three metres wide, forms part of a series of important large-scale works that marked a new departure for Yinka Shonibare by working in fibre-glass and steel. Using these materials, Shonibare investigates the shifting movement of wind passing through fabric and through these grand sculptures, he encapsulates the sheer volume of wind three-dimensionally with exquisite dynamism. As part of the unveiling of the sculpture, Shonibare will give a talk to students and attend a screening of his work at the site of the installation.
Yinka Shonibare is a Nigerian-British artist renowned for his exploration of the issues of race and class through the media of painting, sculpture, photography and film. His trademark material is the brightly coloured ‘African’ batik fabric and one of his most famous works is ‘Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle,’ which, in May 2010, was unveiled on the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square, London with the support of GTBank. In 2013, the Bank also supported Yinka’s Wind Sculpture “FABRIC–ATION,” one of his largest and most comprehensive exhibitions.
The Bank’s support for the installation of the Wind Sculpture VI is the latest of its sustained efforts to promote African and Africa-inspired arts locally and internationally. It closely follows the Bank’s launch, in September, of ART635, a foremost online repository of African artworks and the leading platform for the promotion of indigenous artists across the continent. Arts is one of the four pillars of GTBank’s Corporate Social Responsibility policy and the Bank’s support for Arts over the years ranges from collecting art work from Nigerian artists, to partnering institutions to promote the value of African Art in Africa and the international markets through project-lead initiatives.
Commenting on the Bank’s unveiling of the Wind Sculpture VI, Mr Segun Agbaje, the Managing Director of Guaranty Trust Bank plc, said; “With its bright colours of traditional African fabrics, Yinka’s Wind Sculpture VI reflects the creativity of an artist who is incredibly proud of his African heritage. As a proudly African and Truly International Bank and an ardent supporter of Art, we are delighted to co-sponsor the exhibition of this magnificent work of Art and we hope it will intrigue and inspire everyone who views it.”
GTBank has consistently played a leading role in Africa’s banking industry. The Bank is regarded by industry watchers as one of the best run financial institutions across its subsidiary countries and serves as a role model within the financial service industry due to its bias for world class corporate governance standards, excellent service quality and innovation.