Lubaina Himid Study Day, 20 June 2016


Focused on artist Lubaina Himid, this Study Day aims to generate new readings of the artist’s work, invite personal responses and inspire continuing dialogue. It is a collaboration between BAM (Black Artists and Modernism) and Iniva (Institute of International Visual Art). One of the main premises of the BAM project is that the work of black artists is over-determined via sociological readings that leave this body of work outside of art history. The BAM Study Days – this is the third in a series of artist-focused study days and the first in collaboration with Iniva – are opportunities to re-address the balance.

Lubaina Himid is Professor of Contemporary Art at the University of Central Lancashire. She has long been associated with the UK Black Arts Movement, and as a painter, writer and curator has participated at an international level in exhibitions, conferences, books and films on the visual art of the Black Diaspora since the early 1980s. During the past 30 years she has exhibited widely both in Britain and internationally, with solo shows including Tate St. Ives; Transmission, Glasgow; Chisenhale, London; Peg Alston, New York and St. Jorgens Museum in Bergen. She represented Britain at the 5th Havana Biennale and has shown work at the Studio Museum in New York, Track 17 in Los Angeles, the Fine Art Academy in Vienna and the Grazer Kunstverein. Himid’s work can be found in public collections including Tate, Victoria and Albert Museum, The Whitworth Art Gallery, Arts Council England, Manchester Art Gallery, The International Slavery Museum in Liverpool, The Walker Art Gallery, Birmingham City Art Gallery, Bolton Art Gallery, New Hall Cambridge and the Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Preston. During the study day we shall focus on the formal strategies employed by Lubaina Himid in a body of work that explores paint on unstretched canvasses, cut-outs and found objects; onto newspapers and bedlinen; on grand and miniature scales; as individual, installation and multi-part series; in galleries, museums, hospitals and sheds. We will discuss works from across four decades, handle examples from a multi-part series of work, and consider a series of propositions regarding the artist’s practice and it’s art historical context. The manipulation of pattern and colour has endured and evolved as a consistent thread throughout Himid’s practice.

“The message is in the pattern. Pattern and colour are not random elements nor are they put down for decorative play. They are a new way of re-writing untold tales. Their language is more akin to the call of birds or the growth and blossoming of flowers; meaningful if you speak the tongue.”

Lubaina Himid, Artist’s Statement, Revenge: a Masque in Five Tableaux, Rochdale Art Gallery, 1992.



  • Lubaina Himid (Professor of Contemporary Art at the University of Central Lancashire)
  • Jane Beckett (Professor of Contemporary Art, New York University in London)
  • Evan Ifekoya (artist)
  • Christine Eyene (art historian, critic and curator and Guild Research Fellow in Contemporary Art at the University of Central Lancashire)
  • Dorothy Price (Reader in History of Art at the University of Bristol)


  • Nick Aikens (Curator, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven)
  • Yemi Awosile (artist), Pennina Barnett (writer, formerly Senior Lecturer, Department of Art, Goldsmiths), Phoebe Boswell (artist)
  • Sonia Boyce (Professor of Fine Art at Middlesex University, Chair of Black Art and Design at the University of the Arts London, Principal Investigator on the Black Artists and Modernism project)
  • Tiffany Boyle (art historian and curator, Mothertongue), Helen Cammock (artist)
  • Dr Anjalie Dalal-Clayton (art historian and Postdoctoral Researcher on the Black Artists and Modernism project)
  • Emma Dexter (Director, Visual Arts, British Council)
  • Dr David Dibosa (Reader and Research Fellow with TrAIN, Transnational Art, Identity and Nation, at the University of the Arts London, and Co-Investigator on the Black Artists and Modernism project)
  • Hansi Momodu Gordon (curator and writer)
  • Melanie Keen (Director of Iniva)
  • Helen Legg (Director, Spike Island, Bristol)
  • Dr susan pui san lok (artist, Associate Professor in Fine Art, Middlesex University and Co-Investigator on the Black Artists and Modernism project)
  • Rohini Malik Okon (curator, producer and writer)
  • Ingrid Pollard (artist)
  • Griselda Pollock (Professor of Social and Critical Histories of Art and Director of the Centre for Cultural Analysis, Theory and History (CENTRECATH) at the University of Leeds)
  • Jane Rolo (publisher, curator and director of Bookworks)
  • Katrina Schwarz (Curator, Visual Arts, British Council)
  • Marlene Smith (artist, curator and UK Regional Manager for the Black Artists and Modernism project)
  • Rommi Smith (poet and playwright)
  • Sam Thorne (Director, Nottingham Contemporary)
  • Helena Vilalta (Afterall)

As part of the Black Artists & Modernism project, there are unfolding discussions amongst the research team and with scholars, artists, curators and other engaged publics.


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