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Upcycled Chairs


British designer of African origin, Yinka Ilori, has created an installation “If chairs could talk”. This installation was inspired by Nigerian culture, and particularly by Nigerian parables. The author collaborated with The Shop at Bluebird, and created a great installation, which became well known on the internet and was exhibited in different European countries.

Yinka Ilori is London born Nigerian furniture maker. He is a graduate from London Metropolitan University, in a furniture and product design. Yinka has different works related to African culture, because he wants to share it with Europeans. He shows that African culture is full of interesting forms and designs, which can be used in modern art. The artist doesn’t like the consumerist attitude towards furniture, thus he uses discarded furniture to create totally new objects

Each chair is created from Traditional Nigerian materials and symbolizes parable from Nigerian culture. Yinka Ilori used old furniture and created totally new art objects by using traditional Nigerian colors. Yinka wanted to give new life to old objects, and he managed to do it perfectly. Author paid close attention to small details while creating these art objects. He used not only a discarded furniture, but hangers, plants and other things to convey the meaning of different Nigerian parables.

Obviously, in the modern world it is important to share experiences of different cultures with the help of an art. Authors mix different forms, styles, colors, and create unique art objects, which can not only be aesthetically beautiful, but also tell a story. “If chairs could talk” is a perfect example of how old culture can receive new and interesting interpretation with a help of upcycled furniture.


  1. smokhibe wrote:

    I like what Yinka is doing here on multiple levels. First, he’s building interest and appreciation for Africa/Nigerian art without being so blatant. He shows his European audience the value in African design without making it the focus of his work. Furthermore, he shows that just because something is “used” doesn’t mean that it’s useless, but rather the opposite. Yinka uses junk to create beautiful new furniture, which is appealing in both look and concept.

    Monday, September 28, 2015 at 6:00 am | Permalink
  2. lmazzate wrote:

    I am a big lover of the HGTV home improvement shows. Especially in the parts where they find old furniture and make it new and more trendy. This isn’t exactly like that, but still very interesting. It’s cool how he uses the chair, an everyday object we are familiar with, to create art. It gives us a new direction and a new way of looking at things that we see every day. The colors are fabulous too! Thanks for sharing!

    Monday, September 28, 2015 at 2:14 pm | Permalink
  3. fsarris wrote:

    I really like what the artist has done here! The use of multiple vibrant colors made my eye move all around the chairs. I think it is really creative how the artist used discarded furniture, and turned them into new pieces of furniture. If I had not read that in your post, I never would have known. They are so well crafted that they look brand new!

    Thursday, October 1, 2015 at 9:13 am | Permalink