Ship models, Fine art, Sailing warships, Sculpture

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Nelson's Ship in a Bottle

REG10/000343
Ship models

Object connections:

Collection Ship models, Fine art, Sailing warships, Sculpture
Gallery locationMain Museum Grounds (Floor plans)

Object details:

Object ID REG10/000343
Description Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle by Yinka Shonibare MBE is a 1:30 replica of Nelson’s flagship, HMS Victory, on which he died during the Battle of Trafalgar on 21 October 1805. It has 80 cannon and 37 sails set as on the day of battle. The richly patterned sails were inspired by Indonesian batik, mass-produced by Dutch traders and sold in West Africa. Today these designs are associated with African dress and identity. The characteristic bright colours and abstract symmetries of Dutch Wax fabric have accrued many complex, often ambivalent associations – with colonialism, industrialisation, emigration, cultural appropriation, and the invention (and reinvention) of tradition – all of which are foregrounded in Shonibare’s work. Used for the rigging of Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle, the legacy of Dutch Wax assumes a further, distinctly maritime significance. Shonibare is one of Britain’s best-known artists. He was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2004, the same year in which he was awarded an MBE (an appellation that he uses when exhibiting and signing works). He has exhibited at the Venice Biennial and internationally at leading museums. In autumn 2008, a major retrospective of the artist’s career to date opened at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, touring to Brooklyn Museum, New York and the Smithsonian Institution, Washington.
Date made 2010

Artist/Maker Shonibare, Yinka
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, courtesy of the artist and Stephen Friedman Gallery, London and James Cohan Gallery, New York
Parts
  • Nelson's Ship in a Bottle (REG10/000343)
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