Screencap of artist Lubaina Himid from the Turner Prize 2017 video, September 20, 2017 – Hull2017/Youtube Channel
CAIRO – 6 December 2017: Lubaina Himid has been named the winner of the UK’s prestigious Turner Prize, making history as both the oldest artist to receive the award as well as the first African woman to do so.
Himid was born in 1954 in Zanzibar, Tanzania. She is currently based in Preston, England; her work primarily addresses racial politics and the representation of black people in art. In particular, Himid’s work examines the legacy of slavery with a critical eye, aiming to center the black slaves first and foremost, rather than focusing on other perspectives.
Having worked as an artist since the 1980s, Himid has been highly respected in her field for quite some time. She was one of the leaders of the Black Art movement in the UK, and served as a curator to help give unknown artists more exposure. Her works exhibited in Hull date from the 80s until today and showcase her talent across a wide range of mediums, with works done in newspaper, paintings and wooden sculptures.
Chairman of the Tate Britain’s judging panel Alex Farquharson praised Himid’s work for addressing “difficult, painful issues,” according to the Guardian. Also speaking to the Guardian, Himid stated that she was happy to have won the award, and honored the many other black women who were never able to win, even after they were shortlisted.
Himid competed for the prize against three other artists, namely Rosalind Nashashibi, Andrea Büttner and Hurvin Anderson.
Founded in 1984, the annual Turner Prize is regarded as the UK’s most important art award. Once exclusively exhibited in London, the prize is now displayed out of capital, with this year’s location being Hull, the “the UK City of Culture 2017” at the Ferens Art Gallery.