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Wimbledon alumna Lubaina Himid wins the Turner Prize 2017

Lubaina Himid resized
Lubaina Himid resized
© Edmund Blok,
Written by
John Wallace
Published date
06 December 2018

Lubaina Himid who studied at Wimbledon College of Arts has been awarded the Turner Prize, one of the art world’s most prestigious prizes.

Himid first came to prominence during the Black Arts Movement in the 1980s and after practicing for more than four decades her career is finally achieving mainstream recognition. Her work appeared on the January 2017 cover of Frieze magazine and it is for her recent shows ‘Invisible Strategies’ at Modern Art Oxford, and ‘Navigation Charts’ at Spike Island, Bristol, that she has been awarded the Turner Prize.

Large colorful painted cutouts of people in a white room.
Lubaina Himid, Spike Island

Although trained as a theatre set designer at Wimbledon, Himid paints, draws and creates installations that 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.  The Turner Prize panel said they admired “her expansive and exuberant approach to painting which combines satire and a sense of theatre”.

In Naming the Money 2014, 100 cut-out life size figures depict Black servants and labourers who Himid individualises, giving each of them a name and story.  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 onto porcelain tableware, Himid continually subjects painting to the material of everyday life in order to explore Black identity.

Sophia Phoca, Dean of Fine of Art at Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon, said “We are thrilled that alumna Lubaina Himid has won this eminent prize; she is an inspirational role model for our students, not only because of her innovative approach to fine art but because her commitment to exploring diversity in our culture.”

To find out more about painting at Wimbledon, visit the BA Fine Art: Painting course page

To find out more about theatre design at Wimbledon, visit the BA Theatre Design course page