Brighton Festival and HOUSE, Brighton’s festival of visual art and domestic space, are delighted to announce the opening of Yinka Shonibare MBE’s The British Library a new sculptural installation exploring themes of immigration, migration and refuge, co-commissioned by HOUSE and Brighton Festival 2014.
Comprised of approximately 10,000 books bound in Shonibare’s trademark African Dutch wax batik fabric, The British Library responds to both sides of the immigration debate, both for and against. Printed in gold foil on the spines of 3,500 of the books are the names of notable British immigrants who throughout history have made significant contributions to British culture and society, including those opposed to immigration.
Presented in the dramatic Edwardian surroundings of the Old Reference Library in Brighton Museum and Art Gallery the books are organised on the library’s original wood bookcases. Close to collections of art, fashion and world art, the Library has been used for research for almost a hundred years by academics, historians, writers and local residents. The building stands on what was once the site of the stable block for the iconic Royal Pavilion with its Chinese inspired interiors and Indian architecture.