Himid, Lubaina (19 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 19: [51:10] ‘Inside the Invisible’ show in St Jorgen’s Museum, Bergen, Norway; leprosy museum. How it came about; MS visiting the city. LH’s visit; meeting curator; history of the museum; patients came to be cured then continued living there. Found collection of watercolour portraits of the patients. LH wanted to bring out individuality of the patients. Curator/committee’s restrictions on the material. Being in the space, the cells, imagining what it was like. Development of ideas; series of tiny paintings on canvas. Holes in cells where patients had tacked an image or cross etc. Coloured patterns; text in English and Norwegian about an object - example. May 2001, hanging the show; packed opening; responses - people rediscovering the museum; press coverage. LH passionate about making work which relates to buildings, museum collections, spaces which aren’t art galleries. Later shown in Edinburgh [‘Speak English’]. Hidden histories. First time of making a hundred works - reasons for doing so; a hundred implying a million. [21:48] ‘Double Life’, Bolton, 2001. Series of paintings about LP and BB’s childhood; cosseted daughters of publican, their lifestyle - in stark contrast to poverty of the customers. Describes the paintings; brass plaque with text beneath each - a snippet of conversation. Current opinion of the paintings - heavy-handed. Interviewing LP and BB; picture of privileged childhood, of LH’s grandparents. Process of interviewing mother; LH understanding own character. Being two things: identifies herself as black, but brought up by white English family - previously unrecorded in LH’s work. Going through Mass Observation photographs; image of grandfather’s pub. [35:06] ‘’ at Manchester; 100 small paintings. Curator Helen Hills; AHRC funding; invited LH to be part of group show. Made work about being black in Manchester, but not as expected: 100 patterned representations of imagined conversations between cotton workers of Manchester and cotton slaves of South Carolina; being ripped off by same people. Wrote 100 texts. Describes LH’s section of the show; showed one line of text on brass plaque - quote. Setting herself challenge to only use black and white; patterns. Lincoln Memorial in Manchester. LH tried to get Manchester City Art Gallery and the Whitworth to buy the work - disappointment. Showing the work/selling/giving some away; retains group of 25. Mentions Lucy Whetstone at Hatton Gallery, Griselda Pollock, Jill Morgan. Has the brass plaque in studio. West and East African patterns; also Austrian, Italian - cloth was mostly made for sale in Europe; sale of cloth to Africa - LH refers to current work.

  • Related transcripts

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

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