Kensington + Chelsea Art Week announces exciting new collaboration with Yinka Ilori

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Kensington + Chelsea Art Week announces exciting new collaboration with Yinka Ilori
Yinka Ilori's Better Days Are Coming, I promise, a street art piece on a poster space located near 50 Blackfriars Road in Southwark.

LONDON.- Kensington + Chelsea Art Week celebrates the uniquely abundant cultural heritage and creative future of the royal borough. Every year, KCAW connects hundreds of galleries, creative spaces, museums and cultural institutions, to promote public engagement in the local culture and introduce audiences to its rich history as a leading creative hub.

Developed with community consultation, the annual festival prides itself on being run by a volunteer steering group that supports its organisers in carrying out their defining objective: to connect creative organisations – regardless of their size or prominence – using art as a platform for all to come together as one transformative unit.

Shining a spotlight on this year’s theme, ‘Transformation’, the KCAW team is collaborating with CW+, the official charity of the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. It has been at the forefront of the global arts in health movement for more than a quarter of a century. Over the years, its award-winning Arts in Health programme has developed; today it brings music, performance and other creative activities into hospital wards on a daily basis, and holds a collection of more than 2000 works of art, ranging from a Renaissance oil painting to contemporary digital art.

Their recently published book The Healing Arts showcases their work, outlining how the programme has evolved over the years and, most importantly, the extraordinary impact it has had on patients, visitors and staff. It articulates the transformative power of art in society and reminds us of the importance of creating public spaces for conversation and exchange, to improve quality of life and to empower individuals and communities.

“The artworks designed by Yinka Ilori are very much in keeping with our overall philosophy at CW+ - to make hospital areas as aesthetically pleasing and calm as possible,” said Trystan Hawkins, CW+ Art Director and member of the KCAW Public Art Committee. “We are delighted to be part of the Kensington and Chelsea Art Week, although current circumstances will perhaps affect how the event takes place. However these art and design works will survive long beyond the end of COVID-19, enhancing patient, visitor and staff experience.”

As part of the CW+ Arts in Health programme, KCAW is collaborating with the charity alongside multidisciplinary artist Yinka Ilori, who is currently creating a series of unique artworks and design interventions for the Emergency Department at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, aiming to improve the wellbeing and experience of both patients and staff. The art and design works in the hospital’s Emergency Department are being funded by CW+, in conjunction with KCAW.

Ilori’s practice fuses his British and Nigerian heritage to tell new stories in contemporary design. Known for his use of bold patterns and vibrant colours to create contemporary designs and architectural installations, the West London-based artist will develop a new and cohesive visual identity for the Emergency Department, creating an environment that supports patient, staff and visitor wellbeing at a time of high stress.

"I am really honoured and excited to be working on this commission. Over the years I have worked on a number of art commission but this one is extremely important, more than ever with what’s happening in today’s world. I hope it brings joy, peace and calmness into peoples’ lives, today, forever and in times of need" –comments Yinka Ilori.

Ilori began his practice in 2013, up-cycling vintage furniture and finding inspiration in the traditional Nigerian parables and West African fabrics that surrounded him as a child. Humorous, provocative and fun, each piece of furniture he creates tells a story, bringing Nigerian verbal traditions into playful conversation with contemporary design.

In response to COVID-19, Yinka has created the street art piece located near 50 Blackfriars Road in Southwark, which takes inspiration from the sketches for the A&E department at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital. With the help from Build Hollywood family of Jack, Jack Arts and Diabolical, this outdoor initiative is part of ‘Your Space Or Mine’ project which gives artists a platform on the street and aims to provide messages of positivity and inspiration during these challenging times. Look out for hashtag #YINKAiloriforNHS.

The collaboration with charity CW+ and Yinka Ilori is part of the ongoing effort from Kensington + Chelsea Art Week to create temporary and permanent public art installations in West London, giving a platform to creative voices and establishing new landmarks that celebrate the vibrancy and creativity of the area.

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