Growing up in a typical Nigerian house can be fun, it can be tough also, especially for non-native speakers with native speaking parents. Either way, be it growing up as a native speaker or otherwise, one thing is common and that is the experience. And then there is the proverbial remarks typical to Nigerian parents and elders. These always come in use sometimes to chide, other times to appraise, and some other times when just words would not do. But in a whole, they are used mostly to teach values.
Onígbá ló ńfi igbá ẹ̀ kó ilẹ̀ tí wọ́n fi ńpèé ní àkárágbá. / The owner that packs rubbish with his calabash made others treat it as broken.
Àtùpà kì í níyì lọ́ọ̀sán. / A lamp is not valued in the afternoons. [There’s always a right time…]
For Yinka Ilori it doesn’t just end there – these parables, they serve for him a source of inspiration to which his art is born from, this alongside African fabrics that surrounded him growing up as a child.
Yinka Ilori is a Nigerian-born London based creative who specializes in up-cycling vintage furniture. What stands Yinka apart from your everyday ‘furniture guy’ is despite the fact that he up-cycles, the depth to the creation of his bold, eccentric and playful pieces.
Yinka’s furniture tells stories. Yes, they do! each piece embodies themes and narratives that resonates through the interpretations of parables.
I tell stories through the chairs. Each product is me trying to breathe all the stories, colours, sounds and languages of Africa through the chair, while celebrating the history and character it had before.
Having studied Furniture and Product Design at London Metropolitan University, Yinka’s up-cycling began with a class exercise at the University, one that would be the genesis of it all. Function and Identity- Yinka was given two old objects and asked to use both to create a new object that possessed a story.
Yinka has gone on to exhibit his works internationally on many solo shows.