Himid, Lubaina 3 of 23).  National Life Stories: Artists' Lives

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  • Recording date

    2006-09-11, 2006-09-12, 2006-10-02, 2006-10-03, 2006-11-06, 2006-11-07, 2007-01-15, 2007-01-16

  • Recording locations

    Interviewee's home, Preston

  • Interviewees

    Himid, Lubaina, 1954- (speaker, female)

  • Interviewers

    Dyke, Anna, (speaker, female)

  • Abstract

    Part 3: [Session Two: 12 September 2006] [1:26:41] Moved from Blackpool to London, Wymering Mansions, off Warwick Ave. Then LP and BB bought house in Biddulph Rd, Maida Vale, where LH lived until age 8. Then flat in Lymington Rd, next door to Emma Thompson; neighbours above were musicians; local food shops on West End Lane; mixed neighbourhood, eg. Jewish people walking to Synagogue on Saturday. Then, when LP married PP, stylish flat on Maida Vale; recalls money worries. Then house in Belsize Park Mews; describes layout. Bacon factory opposite. PP’s long conversations in local delicatessen; introduced LH to Jewish foods. Childhood diet; going with PP to European-owned cafes on Finchley Rd; tea rooms with LP. LH’s friends; their family backgrounds. LP owned her houses rather than rented; with BB, borrowed money from David Astor, brother of Lord Astor. Then (LH age 17-19) Eton Avenue, Swiss Cottage. LP and LH’s house moves; weekly routine. Has strong memories of décor, spaces in each home; LH’s tastes in buildings/spaces now. [35:57] Details of furniture, décor, people and space in each home; LP’s stylish objects from Bayswater and Hampstead shops, Whiteleys; art & design books, abstract paintings by designer friends; ornaments from Zanzibar; bookcase and daybed, now in LH’s home. LH’s bedroom in each home; Picasso, Matisse, Miro posters; African flags from Commonwealth Institute. LH’s relationship with Africa as young person - being seen as different by others, the only black girl, but not feeling different. Making art, rather than displaying it. [1:08:20] LH’s teenage drawings - similar to her poetry; influence of Hogarth, Cruikshank, Gillray; surreal collages, collecting images for scrapbooks. Making application portfolio for Foundation course; soldered tin sculpture. 3D pieces, models made on theatre design course, later cut-outs - never used technical assistants. [1:16:47] As teenager, interested in art, rather than artist who made it; liked Bridget Riley, Tissou; hated Giacometti figures. Didn’t matter whether art was figurative or non-figurative; liked art which played with colour, or clever drawing. Didn’t differentiate between fine art and other forms, a hierarchy; LP’s admiration for designers, craftspeople. LH wasn’t interested in nudes, eg. Stanley Spencer’s. Prefers art in which something is happening, or on a surface. Didn’t become interest in artists’ lives until went into theatre design, when one has to understand a person’s life to design their room. [1:26:41]

  • Related transcripts

    Lubaina Himid interviewed by Anna Dyke: full transcript of the interview

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