Preston artist Lubaina Himid to feature at Tate Modern exhibition

Posted on - 17th November, 2021 - 1:41pm | Author - | Posted in - Arts, Preston News, Proud Preston
An artwork by Lubaina Himid

An influential Preston artist will next week feature at a solo exhibition at the Tate Modern.


The work of Lubaina Himid will be available to view from 25 November 2021 to 3 July 2022, 10.00 to 18.00 each day.

Over four decades, Himid’s powerful and poetic work has made her an increasingly influential figure in contemporary art, from her pivotal role in the British Black arts movement of the 1980s to winning the Turner Prize in 2017.

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Himid said: “I have always thought of my work as starting when people get to see it. For me, nothing starts until then.”

An early fascination with patterns, influenced by her mother’s career as a textile designer, is central to Himid’s work.

Himid said: “Patterns occur when I am talking to myself and trying to make visual the music, the sound, the noise and the poetry which underpins all of my work.”

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LONDON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 02: Lubaina Himid attends the Harper’s Bazaar Women of the Year Awards 2021, in partnership with Armani Beauty, at Claridge’s Hotel on November 2, 2021, in London, England. Pic Credit: Dave Benett

This autumn, Tate Modern will present Himid’s largest solo exhibition to date, incorporating new paintings and significant highlights from her career

Inspired by an interest in opera and her training in theatre design, the show will unfold across a sequence of scenes that put the visitor centre stage.

Through a series of questions placed throughout the exhibition, Himid asks visitors to consider how the built environment, history, personal relationships, and conflict shape the lives we lead.

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Eric Knowles and Lubaina Himid inside the Harris Pic: The Harris
Eric Knowles and Lubaina Himid inside the Harris Pic: The Harris

Presenting over 50 works that unite painting, everyday objects, poetic texts and sound, the exhibition will offer a rare chance to experience the breadth of Himid’s career.

Early installations, including the well-known A Fashionable Marriage 1984, will converse with recent works, such as her series of large-format paintings Le Rodeur 2016-18, while new paintings created during lockdown will go on public display for the first time.

A series of suspended cloth flags inspired by East African kanga textiles will welcome visitors to the exhibition, featuring evocative lines of poetry that address the kanga’s layered uses and meanings, as well as its associations with fashion.

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Throughout her career, Himid has explored and expanded the possibilities of storytelling, encouraging the viewer to become an active participant in her work.

A fictional architecture competition inspires the installation Jelly Mould Pavilions for Liverpool 2010. It is a series of hand-painted ceramic models that celebrate the contributions of the African diaspora and invite viewers to reflect on the role of monuments in the public space.

Displayed at Tate Modern alongside a range of works, including Metal Handkerchiefs 2019 in a room addressing architecture and the built environment, Himid poses the question: ‘We live in clothes, we live in buildings. Do they fit us?’

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A highlight of the exhibition will be the presence of sound installations, including Blue Grid Test 2020, created by Himid in collaboration with artist Magda Stawarska-Beavan.

Displayed in the UK for the first time, the 25-metre-long painting features 64 patterns from all over the world. Each is painted a different shade of blue on top of objects pinned to the gallery walls. Coupled with a sound installation layering instrumental music with Himid’s voice, the work creates a visual and sonic embrace.

Reflecting on this idea, Himid asks visitors, ‘What does love sound like?’ The show will culminate in recent paintings and painted objects, which centre on extraordinary rarely portrayed moments of everyday life.

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The series Men in Drawers 2017-19 features tender portraits of imaginary figures inside vintage wooden furniture, while works like Cover the Surface 2019 depict intimate interactions and moments of indecision between men.

Himid also explores women’s creativity in her recent paintings, including The Operating Table 2019, which places visitors among a group of women in the throes of conversation and planning.

With each painting, the artist asks us to consider ‘What happens now?’ The exhibition is organised by Tate Modern in collaboration with Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts de Lausanne/Plateforme 10.

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Lubaina Himid is curated by Michael Wellen, Curator of International Art at Tate Modern and Amrita Dhallu, Assistant Curator.

The exhibition is accompanied by a new book from Tate Publishing. It features writings and exclusive homeware, prints, fashion and limited editions in the Tate Shop.

For more information, visit –

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Will you be heading to the exhibition? Let us know in the comments below

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