Diaspora-Artists logo


Louis Wise

Journalist Louis Wise was responsible for one of several substantial features in magazines such as Vogue, and the Sunday Times Culture magazine on the artist Lubaina Himid and her Turner Prioze success. This feature, “I KNEW I WAS A POSTER GIRL”, appeaed in The Sunday Times Culture magazine of May 13, 2018, on pages 16 and 17.

The feature was introduced as follows “The 2017 Turner Prize winner Lubaina Himid is anything but token. She makes art to change the world, she tells Louis Wise.” The portrait of Hinid accompanying the piece was credited to Darren O’Brien Guzelian. The piece trailed Himid’s exhibition at Baltic, Gateshead, Lubaina Himid: Our Kisses are Petals, 11 May – 28 October 2018. In a wide-ranging piece, Himid covered a significant amount of ground about her history, her practice, her MBE, the Turner Prize, and other issues. 

The piece began, “The Turner prize doesn’t surprise much these days, exhausted by its own contrariness - but anointing Lubaina Himid its most recent winner, last December, was a shock. Not least to the artist herself. “I knew Rosalind Nashashibi would win,” Himid says today, as wise as her 63 years and twice as sprightly. “I just knew that. I’m a professor of contemporary art - I know these things!”
     Yet on the night they chose Himid, the British-Zanzibari artist who rose to some prominence with the UK’s black arts movement of the 1980s, but had hardly become a household name. Political art had gone in and out of fashion, and her art is resolutely political, dwelling on the legacy of slavery and race relations in general. “What makes Britain great?” she asks. The answers aren’t always very nice, although the art - paintings, pots, flags, installations, with an eye for colour and wit - often is.
     Nothing if not idealistic, she believes in art as a conversation, with you bringing as much to the table as she does. Unlike the YBAs, she never made work with the intention for it to be sold or marketed. “It wasn’t about that,” she says simply. Was it just a desire to make art? “It was the desire to change the world.”
Elsewhere in the piece, “Likewise, she is pretty sanguine about her MBE, received in 2010 for “services to black women’s art”. Wouldn’t she rather it just said “art”? “Of course I would,” she says. I thinlk  we all have to do whatever we can do, in whatever way we can do it.” She isn’t too fussed about all the implicit Empire stiff, either, but never mind, it pleased her mim and her auntie.”

Related items

click to show details of I KNEW I WAS A POSTER GIRL - Lubaina Himid

»  I KNEW I WAS A POSTER GIRL - Lubaina Himid

Article relating to an individual, 2018