Lubaina Himid (far right) on a recent visit to the Walker, with Ann Bukantas (far left), Head of Fine Art, and Sandra Penketh (centre), Director of Art Galleries Last night we heard the wonderful news that Lubaina Himid is the winner of the Turner Prize 2017. We were thrilled to hear of her well-deserved win, having worked closely with the artist over a number of years. Visitors might remember Lubaina’s Jelly Mould Pavilions that were displayed at Sudley House back in 2010, or perhaps you’ve seen her work on show as part of our current display, Lubaina Himid: Meticulous Observations and Naming the Money. On hearing the news, Sandra Penketh, Director of Art Galleries at National Museums Liverpool, said:
Lubaina’s artwork brings forth and celebrates the lives and histories of people of the Black diaspora. In Naming the Money, Lubaina addresses how Europe’s wealthy classes spent their money and flaunted their power in the 18th and 19th centuries by using enslaved African men and women. The work consists of highly individual life-sized sculptural figures, each with their own profession and life-story. More than 20 figures are currently positioned around the Walker in arrangements determined by the artist, in response to our permanent collection. The full installation was gifted by Lubaina to the International Slavery Museum in 2013. In addition to Naming the Money, we are displaying a selection of Arts Council Collection artworks chosen by Lubaina. These include works by Prunella Clough, Tacita Dean, Claudette Johnson, Lisa Milroy and Bridget Riley among others. They relate to a theme that Lubaina describes as being ‘surrounded by meticulous reality’. The selection she has made touches on the personal and examines how, as an artist, one can deal with and articulate the everyday. At the centre of the Arts Council Collection display, which occupies Room 9 at the Gallery, is Lubaina’s 1987 series of 15 watercolour drawings, ‘Scenes from the life of Toussaint L’Ouverture’, about the 18th-century military commander and former slave who led the Haitian Revolution. The series focuses on some key moments and everyday happenings in L'Ouverture’s life. Lubaina is also a juror for the John Moores Painting Prize 2018. We can't wait to discover which of this year’s entries will be among her preferences to be exhibited at the Gallery, and to be considered as a prizewinners!
“I’m delighted to hear that Lubaina Himid has won the Turner Prize 2017. Lubaina’s immensely important contribution to the art world deserves to be celebrated. At National Museums Liverpool, we are fortunate enough to have worked with Lubaina since 2010, and are currently displaying part of her installation ‘Naming the Money’ at the Walker Art Gallery. We hope that visitors will come to see the exhibition and experience for themselves what makes Lubaina’s artwork so engaging and so vital.”