Yinka Ilori reimagines space, furniture, and design through a contemporary lens saturated in rich, bright colours. A London-based multidisciplinary artist of British-Nigerian heritage, Ilori has redefined how creatives think about the notion of upcycling vintage furniture and transformed this approach into his own form of social sculpture. Ilori creatively experiments with humour and fun, creating spaces that are replete with a sense of play as he meshes contemporary design with a Nigerian flare.
Ilori utilises his practice as a forum to question the function and physiological impact of colour and form along with domestic objects that are part of our everyday lives. Ilori’s celebration of colour is an act of resistance to traditional Western views of what contemporary art and design can be. He debunks the notion that art and design need to uphold minimalist form and subtle colour to be deemed relevant.
By transforming furniture, public spaces, and other design objects Ilori provides the world with his multidimensional narrative and multicoloured oeuvre. This oeuvre has proven to be rich and expansive for him, leading to collaboration with the public as co-curators in future projects. In 2017, he worked with volunteers from social enterprise Restoration Station to create a series of workshops for people in addiction recovery. Participants learned to upcycle chairs that were then auctioned off, with proceeds reinvested into the programme. For AB7, Ilori seeks to develop a new social‑practice project that will continue to impart his skills to marginalised communities in need of a spark of hope through art.
The Art of Storytelling through Chairs
Workshop by Yinka Ilori, August 2021