The Royal Academy of Arts has unveiled 'RA Family Album, 2016, by Yinka Shonibare MBE RA', a major large-scale public artwork that wraps around the façade of the institution’s building on Burlington Gardens. Conceived by Yinka Shonibare RA and designed by Pentagram, the piece consists of over 160 black and white photographs and prints that showcase the people who have made the RA an inclusive place for artists, creativity and learning since its foundation in 1768.
Pentagram worked with Shonibare on the design of the 71m wide artwork. The piece is topped by one of Shonibare’s renowned colourful fabric designs which Pentagram has turned into drips that trickle over the images. The wrap is filled with well-known figures connected to the RA, including Sir David Attenborough, Dame Joan Collins and Dame Vivienne Westwood, as well as Royal Academicians, members of staff and RA Schools students.
The artwork was commissioned to cover the scaffolding that currently wraps Burlington Gardens. The building work is part of a transformative redevelopment that will link the RA’s Burlington Gardens site to Burlington House on Piccadilly. Led by Sir David Chipperfield RA, the redevelopment will coincide with the institution’s 250th anniversary in 2018.