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Lubaina Himid

  • CountryZanzibar
  • Born1954


For more than three decades, the artist, curator and a member of the 1980s Black Arts Movement, Lubaina Himid, has uncovered hidden histories and exposed the invisibility of Black artists by celebrating their cultural contribution. She has mainly worked in the medium of painting, producing installations of life-sized wooden cut-out figures which explore the issues of black identity, the slave trade, displacement and the historical representations of the people from the African diaspora. Using paint and other materials along with poetic texts, Himid endows her figures with distinct personalities in an attempt to reclaim their lost identities.

In 2013, her cut-out installation A Fashionable Marriage, 1986, was shown in Iniva’s exhibition ‘Keywords’ organised in partnership with Tate Liverpool. The work examines and exposes the similarities between the world of international politics and the world of British art.

Himid was born in Zanzibar in a mixed heritage family and was just four months old when she returned to Britain. She studied Theatre Design at Wimbledon College of Arts in London, later graduating with an MA degree in Cultural History from the Royal College of Art, London.

Her works have been shown extensively throughout the UK and can be found in the public collections of Tate Britain, Birmingham City Art Gallery and Victoria & Albert Museum to name a few. Her international exhibitions include solo shows at Peg Alston Gallery, New York and St. Jorgens Museum, Bergen. Himid was appointed MBE for her services to Black Women’s Art in 2010.

The year 2017 has turned out to be particularly significant in Himid’s career with a Turner Prize award for her simultaneous solo shows, ‘Navigation Charts’ at Spike Island, Bristol and ‘Invisible Strategies’ at the Modern Art Oxford, as well as her participation in the group exhibition ‘The Place is Here’ at Nottingham Contemporary. She has also been commissioned to create a Jelly Mould Pavilion at the Folkestone Triennial.

Himid is Professor of Contemporary Art at the University of Central Lancashire. She lives and works in Preston.

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