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Lubaina Himid, Turner Art Prize winner, interview – one year on… (personal reflections)

Lubaina Himid, Turner Art Prize winner, interview – one year on… (personal reflections)

One of the world’s most original and arresting artists spoke to acv…

IT WAS EXACTLY a year ago that we were in Cornwall to interview 2017 Turner Art Prize winner Lubaina Himid.

The first black woman artist to win the UK’s most prestigious art prize was very generous both with her time and her ideas around creating, ‘Invisible Narratives’. She had curated the ‘Invisible Narratives’ exhibition (March 23-June 15 2019) at the Newlyn Art Gallery and The Exchange in Newlyn, Penzance, Cornwall.

She is one of the world’s great artists, esepcially when it comes to looking beyond the surface of things – and none more so than in the context of Colonialism and effectively, the dehumanisation of a significant part of humanity – through Slavery. Born in Zanzibar, she had come to the UK as a child and trained originally as a theatre designer – there is a sense of performance about her work and it is both fun and appealing (despite the difficult subject matter).

It was an extremely memorable interview – and the whole experience of travelling to Penzance from London left a deep impression, and in some ways, amplified what seemed to acv to be one of the central messages of ‘Invisible Narratives’.

It is a beautiful part of Britain – please visit and go to the gallery – when it becomes possible to do so again.

Sailesh Ram (editor) acv, artists Lubaina Himid and Magda Stawarska-Beavan

Closed now, as all such institutions are, because of the current Coronavirus Crisis – the surroundings and the exhibition itself powerfully reminded us we must fashion a new attitude towards our environment and respect those working in the care and health sector equally (and as Himid powerfully reminds us, we have not properly respected the toil and application of black communities in making Britain what it is).

Surely our current predicament calls for a more enlightened approach and a greater respect and understanding that Nature will take its own remedial action if we continue to abuse it – and we (continue to) ignore its own messages at our peril.

This will be the fight of our generation and we hope that out of this terrible tragedy of death and suffering something positive and lasting emerges – as an honour and legacy to those who have ‘gone before their time’.

Finally, a big thanks to Kathy Hill and Blair Todd who invited us to Newlyn Art Gallery to interview Lubaina Himid; it is one of acv’s highlights in the six years plus we have been in existence. The whole gallery were superb hosts.

Also thanks to videographer, Dean Anderson, who shot the interview and was invaluable company during this trip.

We hope to do more on Art when it becomes possible to do so again – 🙏🏾 Sailesh Ram

The gallery is open online, so do please check it out!


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Written by Asian Culture Vulture