YINKA ILORI was torn between fitting in with the crowd in his native London, and exploring his own Nigerian heritage through his Art. Ilori studied product and furniture design , but soon began re-fashioning and up cycling broken or abandoned chairs to create sculptural work that gives more than nod to his ancestry . He sources old chairs from charity shops or rubbishy skips.
Each chair is dismantled , reimagined and reassembled in a new surprising way : perhaps without a backrest , or with mismatched legs, and often with an additional element – a light , a plant , a coat hanger . Whatever works to tell the story he wants to tell . His Art influenced by the Nigerian parables his parents told him as a way of passion on moral lessons such as : don’t be envious of your neighbors , let your light shine and money doesn’t make you more important than anyone else . He brings the wise words and rich images of the stories into play with contemporary design.
His palette is bright and bold and he upholsters with Dutch wax fabrics, which he says remind him of happy times – weddings and parties with his friends and family all dressed in their best clothes . The result is art that’s humorous and playful but also powerful , evoking his African roots and often speaking to themes equality and class . He aims to create objects that make people smile and ask questions , and which are infused with their own history and the sounds , sights and wisdom of Africa .
See more of Ilori work at : https://yinkailori.com/
Instagram : @yinka_ilori