Lubaina Himid was born in 1954 in Zanzibar, Tanzania and lives and works in Preston. She been active since the Eighties as an artist, educator and curator facilitating and celebrating the role of black artists and their contributions to contemporary society. Himid makes paintings, prints, drawings and installations which celebrate black creativity and the people of the African diaspora while challenging institutional invisibility. She references the slave industry and its legacies, and addresses the hidden and neglected cultural contribution made by real but forgotten people.
She often takes her paintings off the gallery wall so that her images become objects that surround the viewer. Whether working on Guardian newspapers or directly on to porcelain tableware, Himid continually subjects painting to the material of everyday life in order to explore black identity.
Himid repeatedly questions the historical role of portraiture, as in works such as A Fashionable Marriage, 1986. Inspired by William Hogarth’s Marriage a la Mode 4 (The Countess’s Morning Levee) 1743, this installation features a brightly coloured stage set with a cast of characters taken from Hogarth’s morality tale. Incorporating painting, drawing and collage on cut-outs, the installation relates its historical inspiration to our current climate by including contemporary newspaper headlines and images of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan. Himid’s satirical approach takes aim at the politics of the time as well as its legacy today. In works such as these, the artist appropriates and interrogates European painters and combines aspects of her African heritage to question the role of visual power.
26 Sep 2017 – 7 Jan 2018 (Free)
Ferens Art Gallery, Hull
Discover more at hull2017.co.uk/turnerprize