Yinka Ilori is a British-Nigerian multidisciplinary artist based in London. Each piece he makes tells stories through contemporary design, inspired by Nigerian parables and West African fabrics that surrounded him throughout his childhood.
Yinka began his practice with upcycling furniture in 2011. His 2015 exhibition If Chairs Could Talk was a collection of discarded or damaged objects found on the street which are restored and repurposed.
In an interview for Design Milk's column Circular by Design, Ilori talks about the collection, explaining how "there was a feeling of taking what was unwanted and giving it a new life ... it was fascinating to me how we often identify with or respect something new and polished, and yet they were the same chairs people had walked past and ignored in the street."
Each chair was named after someone he grew up with - some who became successful, others less so. The collection conveys how we shouldn’t make pre-judgements of others, just as we have of these rejuvenated objects. The chairs are not only symbolic pieces of art with a personal context, but also serve as an example of sustainability. Instead of throwing objects away, we should consider repairing or transforming them.
Head to Yinka Ilori's website find out more about his wide range of exciting projects.