Do Good Because of Tomorrow with Yinka Ilori is the first installment of Common Ground 2016–17.
Common Ground is Milton Keynes Arts Centre’s community participation and artist development programme supported using public funding by Arts Council England. Offering a twelve-month season of distinct projects, each presenting high quality and meaningful opportunities for engagement between a diverse spectrum of artists and communities living in Milton Keynes.
Photograph by Andy Stagg
London based artist and designer Yinka Ilori in collaboration with fifteen children from Giffard Park Primary, Great Linford Primary and St Monica’s Catholic Primary schools, as the first stage of Common Ground; twelve months of collaborations between artists Yinka Ilori, Ibiye Camp, Tom Dale, Groundwork and our communities.
Inspired by the traditional Nigerian parables and African fabrics that surrounded him as child, Ilori specialises in the up-cycling of vintage furniture. Bringing verbal tradition into playful conversation with contemporary design, each piece of furniture he creates tells a story.
Do Good Because of Tomorrow takes its title from a widely used Nigerian phrase that encourages people to participate in good deeds in their community, fostering positive change.
Yinka Ilori is passionately against the unnecessary waste he has seen in European and West African consumer cultures, a stance which drives him to reuse discarded furniture and other found objects. This process restores new life and purpose to reclaimed materials allowing them to take on new meanings.
Supported using public funding by Arts Council England
Yinka Ilori is a London based designer. He specialises in up-cycling vintage furniture, inspired by the traditional Nigerian parables and African fabrics that surrounded him as child. Humorous, provocative and fun, each piece of furniture he creates tells a story. Bringing Nigerian verbal traditions into playful conversation with contemporary design, Yinka Ilori’s work touches on themes as various as hope, sexuality and social class. Conscious that the parables are as relevant today as ever, Ilori wishes to share his work with people throughout the world.
Ilori is passionately against the unnecessary waste he has seen in European and West African consumer cultures and this drives him to reuse discarded furniture and other found objects. With each custom made piece inspired by a parable, Ilori restores new life and purpose to reclaimed materials. His furniture takes on new meanings depending on how it is used or positioned. Ilori is interested in playing with the relationship between function and form and his work sits between traditional divisions of art and design.
He studied Furniture and Product Design at London Metropolitan University and has since exhibited internationally in solo shows: If Chairs Could Talk, The Shop At Bluebird, September 2015; This is Where It Started, The Whitespace Gallery, Lagos, October, 2014; Yinka Ilori, Just Africa, Stockholm March 2014 and It Started With a Parable, Jaguar Shoes, London in collaboration with London Design Week, December, 2013. And group exhibitions: Home Affairs, Now Gallery, August 2015; Making Africa, Vitra Design Museum, Basel, March, 2015 touring to Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Autumn 2015; Africa Calling, Africa Utopia, Southbank Centre, September 2014; Creative Britain feature stand, British European Design Group, International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF), New York May 2012.