Artist Yinka Shonibare, who lives and works in London’s East End, this week unveiled a new work as part of the campaign against proposed government cuts to arts funding.
The work shows a slash across a piece of brightly-coloured African fabric with the uncompromising caption: Stop Cutting.
Nigerian-British artist Yinka Shonibare MBE completed a BA at Goldsmiths College in 1991 before going on to St Martin’s Central College of Art. He has said he considers himself ‘truly bi-cultural’ and strives to open up debate about the social, cultural and political issues that shape our histories and construct identity, using painting, sculpture, photography and, most recently, film. He often uses African fabrics to explore issues about identity and culture in contemporary society. As well as producing Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle for the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square in May this year, in June a major new public art work, covering the gable-end of a thirteen-storey tower block, was unveiled in Camberwell to celebrate the expansion of the South London Gallery.
The campaign against the cuts to arts funding has the support of over 100 British artists, including David Hockney, Anish Kapoor and Rachel Whiteread. Each week the work of a different artist, created in response to the campaign, will be released. The campaign was launched on 10 September with a new video by David Shrigley and a campaign poster by Jeremy Deller, Scott King and William Morris. This was followed by a new work by Mark Wallinger. Supporters of the campaign are asked to sign a petition here which will be sent to the Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, pointing out that it has taken 50 years to create a vibrant arts culture in Britain that is the envy of the world, and appeals to the government not to slash funding to the arts and destroy this long-term achievement.