1 Nov 2011

Yinka Shonibare: Nelson's Ship in a Bottle

Passed Yinka Shonibare's 'Nelson's Ship in a Bottle' on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square today. It was a beautiful day and the ship looked stunning in the sun. It's sails are made from  patterned textiles associated with African dress and symbolic of African identity and independence - reminders of the legacy of British colonialism and its expansion in trade and Empire. As I squint upwards, I imagine Nelson looks down from his column a few feet away with a raised eyebrow. A great piece - that also resonates for me through fond memories of building an 'Airfix' version of the HMS Victory as a boy.

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