Hibiscus Rising: Creating a memorial for David Oluwale with Yinka Shonibare CBE

The Tetley presents a new exhibition in collaboration with The David Oluwale Memorial Association (DOMA) and LEEDS 2023 Year of Culture, imagining the future of David Oluwale’s legacy in Leeds.

The exhibition centres around a maquette created by artist Yinka Shonibare CBE RA as part of a proposal for a public memorial for David Oluwale. The proposed artwork, Hibiscus Rising, will stand at 9.5 metres high, and be located in Leeds’ Southbank next to the Oluwale footbridge on Meadow Lane.

This new sculpture will be a major new public artwork, telling a story of hope, growth and renewal for the city and raising awareness of Oluwale’s story. This site would be a place of contemplation, travel and play whilst creating a safe and accessible public place that connects the city centre with the new Aire Park.

The project is still in development but it is hoped that the artwork, commissioned as part of LEEDS 2023 with DOMA and Leeds City Council, and surrounding landscape will be unveiled during the city’s landmark year of culture.

The exhibition also features materials from the Yinka Shonibare Studio, and offers an insight into the inspiration and research behind the artwork and a glimpse of how it will look in situ.

Hibiscus Rising has been commissioned by DOMA to honour the life of the British Nigerian and Leeds resident, who drowned in the River Aire on 18 April 1969 after being systematically harassed by members of the Leeds City Police force. 

Hibiscus Rising: Creating a memorial for David Oluwale with Yinka Shonibare CBE is a collaboration between The Tetley, The David Oluwale Memorial Association and LEEDS 2023, supported by Leeds City Council

Press Visits and Enquiries

For enquiries, images or to arrange a visit please contact Hannah Keating, Marketing and Communications Manager: hannah.keating@yorkshire-contemporary.local / 07800 797245

For further information, images or interviews relating to LEEDS 2023 please contact Anys Williams at Anita Morris Associates: Anys@anitamorrisassociates.co.uk / 07909 151441


Artist Yinka Shonibare CBE RA was born in 1962 in London, England and moved to Lagos, Nigeria at the age of three. He lives and works in London. Shonibare’s interdisciplinary practice explores cultural identity, colonialism and post-colonialism within the contemporary context of globalisation. He was a Turner Prize nominee in 2004 and was elected as a Royal Academician in 2013. He was awarded the honour of Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in 2019 and received the Art Icon Award from Whitechapel Gallery in 2021. 

#RememberOluwale, listed in the register of charities as The David Oluwale Memorial Association (DOMA), offers a positive response to David Oluwale’s story that returns to David’s hopeful start. We acknowledge that the city of Leeds has made great strides since 1969. We aim to help the city in coming to terms with its past, to improve its care for those who remain marginalised, and to promote compassion, cohesion, inclusion and social justice in Leeds. We utilise all types of art to offer vitality and creativity in our collective effort to make a better future for all. 

LEEDS 2023‘s ambition is to deliver a transformational year of creative experiences connecting and benefiting people now and into the future. The planned programme will celebrate and transform the City’s identity locally, nationally and internationally – creating a lasting legacy of economic and social impact. 

LEEDS 2023 is run by the Leeds Culture Trust, an independent charity set up in 2019 by Leeds City Council as part of its Culture Strategy and as a response to the cancellation of the UK’s participation in the European Capital of Culture competition. Leeds City Council recognises in a number of its key strategies the difference culture and creativity can make to a city and its citizens, and is the principal funder of LEEDS 2023. 


About The Tetley

The Tetley is a pioneering centre for contemporary art located in the stunning art deco headquarters of the former Tetley Brewery. From the heart of Leeds’ South Bank, The Tetley creates a platform for amazing emerging artists, presents breathtaking free exhibitions and helps communities and young people in Leeds find their creative voice.

The Tetley is supported by Arts Council England, Tetley’s Beers, Leeds City Council and Garfield Weston Foundation.


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The Tetley, Hunslet Road, Leeds, LS10 1JQ