Yinka Ilori brings his brilliantly bold colours to the Dulwich Picture Gallery’s Pavilion

Yinka Ilori has had a busy time of it recently. In the past week alone, this prodigious designer has created the rainbow scenography for Somerset House’s Get Up, Stand Up Now exhibition (a celebration of the past 50 years of black creativity), designed the set for Labrum London’s SS20 London Fashion Week Men’s show and now, has unveiled The Colour Palace, this year’s Dulwich Pavilion at Dulwich Picture Gallery.


A celebration of the multicultural London in which it stands, this dazzling 10 meter high structure has been built with the aim of fusing West African and European traditions. Ilori’s back catalogue of work is informed by the Nigerian parables and fabrics that surrounded him growing up in the capital and, while larger in scale than the chairs for which he is best known, this project is no different. Taking its cues from the Dutch wax cotton so ubiquitously found on market stalls from Lagos to Peckham, and built by local architects Pricegore, the timbre structure is a beautiful cacophony of colour, light and pattern, which shifts depending on the angle it is viewed from.


Complete with an internal viewing platform, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the work, Ilori’s design was selected from an open call which received over 150 entries. “The brief for the Dulwich Pavilion demanded a celebratory response to Sir John Soane’s outstanding historic architecture, and having Yinka as part of the Colour Palace design team has really helped us to achieve that,” remarks Dingle Price and Alex Gore of Pricegore.

“The Pavilion’s patterns and shapes calmly welcome you from a distance until you get closer and closer, and you’re blown away with an explosion of colour that immediately demands your attention,” says Ilori. “I’m so excited to see how people react to The Colour Palace and how it will bring people from different cultures and communities together. I’m hoping to see people leave with a smile on their faces – what could be better for summer!”

The Colour Palace is on view until 22 September 2019 at The Dulwich Picture Gallery in partnership with the London Festival of Architecture 2019

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Published on 15/06/2019