Designer Yinka Ilori is known for his distinctive, vivacious use of bold colours and pattens in his pieces of furniture. He brings his childhood spent surrounded by intricate African Fabrics and Nigerian parables into the contemporary through his experiments with function and form. His most recent projects include Restoration Station, where he directly collaborated with recovering addicts in a workshop to up-cycle donated furniture. Allowing people who were also going through a transformation to create stunning work with him and to express their own narrative was a huge success. The chairs were put on display as part of the London Design Festival, and raised £2,520 for the company.
Injecting artistic exuberance through this work, he aims to work with more communities following the success of the Restoration Station. His proposal to transform a gloomy overpass in South London has been accepted and will be organised as part of the London Festival of Architecture in June. The design, entitled ‘Happy Street’, is a kaleidoscopic rainbow pattern reinvigorating a public space that previously scared the local schoolchildren. Expressing multiculturalism and diversity, IIlori’s work is vital and important within the public spaces of London, addressing issues around sexuality and class. His work is inclusive and celebratory, for everyone to enjoy. Playfully serious, beautiful and yet available to all, Ilori is re-writing the rules of the art world.
Most recently, Ilori has collaborated with Universal Music to produce a special edition print in honour of the Brit Awards. The print ‘Love in a line’ is a geometric explosion of colour and clean lines, nodding to his influences of Nigerian pattern. He wanted to celebrate the bravery and beauty of being different, racially, sexually or creatively. The movement in the piece implies development, and a nod to the future. Ilori often asks questions in his work about where we are going, where we’ve come from and the constantly fluctuating nature of identity. One of this strengths as a designer is his storytelling ability. Being influenced by the power of narratives in his childhood from the African parables, he brings this dimension to his work. Whether it is print, furniture or urban landscape projects, the notion of transformation is threaded throughout.
The Brighton gallery are excited to stock his prints from the ‘Do Good Because Of tomorrow’ Exhibition. The phrase is widely used in Nigeria and is used to inspire people to participate in good deeds and catalyse positive changes. The stories inherent within his work resonate with a huge range of people, and we’re delighted to feature him. Please drop in to experience his work in person!