Leisure Lady With Ocelots by Yinka Shonibare for Style Imitating Art

Hello and welcome to my fourth selection of Style Imitating Art for the year!

Style Imitating Art

Style Imitating Art, at the moment, is hosted by Salazar of 14 Shades of Grey, Shelbee of Shelbee on the Edge, and me.

Style Imitating Art challenges us to draw style inspiration from pieces of art. Every other Monday one of us selects an inspiration image and we each post the image on our blogs. The following Monday we share our art-inspired outfits. The following Wednesday, the curator shares all of the submissions on her blog.

This Week’s Presenter

Well, that would be me!

This Week’s Inspirational Image

For this round, I chose a piece by Yinka Shonibare, a British artist of Nigerian origin. I first encountered his work about eleven years ago and Pattern ID at the Kemper Museum of Art in Kansas City. Shonibare’s work has a commanding presence even if you are not aware of the historical and social connections that it alludes to.

For us, I decided to go with Leisure Lady with Ocelots, which he created in 2001.

His art examines race, class and the construction of cultural identity and his works comment on the tangled interrelationship between Africa and Europe, and their respective economic and political histories.

Shonibare uses a great deal of wax cloth since 1994 which is the brightly colored “African” fabric (Dutch wax-printed cotton) that he buys himself from Brixton Marker in London. However, according to him, ” the fabrics are not really authentically African the way people think,” says Shonibare. “They prove to have a crossbred cultural background quite of their own.

At the age of 18, he contracted transverse myelitis, an inflammation of the spinal cord, which resulted in one side of his body being paralyzed. His disability has gotten worse as he has gotten older (he was born in 1962) and now has a team to help make his work a reality. I do think he is an important artist for our times.

I hope everyone finds this work inspirational. His work certainly has a message.

Have Some Fun & Join Us

Go take a look in your closet and see what you have. Put something together and send it to me at meadowtreestyle@gmail.com by a week from tomorrow, April, 19th. I love getting those emails!

I think that’s it for now,


My first seen work of Shonibare was Three Graces, also completed in 2001.

However, I didn’t write anything about this piece at the time and this was when I was solely an art and design blogger. Instead, I wrote on Willie Coles’s piece Garden (Ozone Summer Series) HERE. This was back when my blog was called the “MeadowTree Journal”, which gave me license to write about anything I wanted. The Journal was originally started in 2009 on Blogger (it’s still out there in Cyberspace). I’ve been blogging on and off for a while now!

11 thoughts on “Leisure Lady With Ocelots by Yinka Shonibare for Style Imitating Art

  1. This is such a fascinating piece, Terri! I can’t wait to research more about this artist as well. I am getting some ideas for styling but I definitely need to just start playing around with things in my closet. I can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a piece that has been on my radar for a while. I do think he is an important artist, although not one that most of us are aware of. I hope you have fun creating something and I can’t wait to see what you come up with.


    1. I agree about his work. This is one of those times (and there have been others) that I even wondered if I should present such a strong and meaningful work for SIA. But, I also think one of SIA’s other missions (or at least to me) is to present artists that might be under most other readers radar. So, I haven’t backed down yet. I also agree about the big cats. We don’t get to many of them represented in art. If you check out more of his work you will find that it is also incredible.


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