Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Yinka Shonibare's ballerina appears outside the Royal Opera House

Yinka Shonibare's ballerina at the Royal Opera House

Yinka Shonibare's Globe Head Ballerina sculpture has recently been launched at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, London. The animated artwork (the dancer will twirl around inside its' 'bubble') stands on the corner of Russell Street and is sited high up on the building's facade.

The dancer, whose body is modelled on a sculpture of the real dancer Melissa Hamilton (from the Royal Ballet) will pirouette parallel to the pavement below, and on her shoulders in place of a head is a turning Victorian globe of the world. The pose itself was inspired by a photograph of dancer Margot Fonteyn.

The sphere surrounding the dancer was made by a firm in Italy that specialises in aquariums, who also made the gigantic bottle to hold Shonibare's scale model of Nelson's HMS Victory, which after its display on the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square is now a permanent fixture at the Maritime Museum in Greenwich. 

The artwork is due to remain in place for at least the next five years, and has been produced by UP Projects.

I can't find a photo of the artwork in situ (it was due to open today at 12noon) so it might still be in the process of installation - I'm guessing the one above shows the work in the artist's studio. When I find one I'll add it to the blog.

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