Santa Monica, USA: Peter Norton Family Christmas Project, 2002
33 x 20 x 26 cm.
Edition size unknown
"Yinka Shonibare was born in London in 1962 and spent most of his youth in Lagos. His dual African and English cultural identity plays a large role in his work, which often takes the form of headless figures wearing the elaborate clothing of upper-class Victorians. Shonibare's work explores issues of race and class through different media including sculpture, painting, photography, and installation art. In the 18th century, dollhouses which were exact miniature replicas of larger homes were often custom-made for elite and well-to-do families. This dollhouse is a replica of the 1872 Victorian town house in the East End of London where Shonibare now lives. As in many of his other projects, Dutch wax print cloth figures prominently (in this dollhouse the chairs and bed are covered in it). To impart a lived-in quality, Shonibare selected furniture in various woods and styles to fill the rooms. The two-story house includes cabinets, chairs, tables, fireplaces, and a canopy bed, along with reproductions of paintings by Shonibare and Jean-Honoré Fragonard. Active play with the dollhouse is encouraged."