Lubaina Himid

Prof. Lubaina Himid, CBE

Professor of Contemporary Art

School of Art, Design and Fashion

Victoria Building, VB006

+44 (0) 1772 89 3991

Lubaina is research active within the area of Art and Design: History, Theory and Practice and is a member of Making Histories Visible at The Centre for Contemporary Art.

Lubaina has won the award for the Turner Prize 2017, one of the world’s most prestigious art awards.

In 2018 Lubaina was made a Commander of The Order of the British Empire (CBE) for her services to art.

Full Profile

As a painter, writer and curator Lubaina Himid has participated at an international level in exhibitions conferences books and films on the visual art of the Black Diaspora since the early 1980’s.

Naming the Money(2004) which also appeared as part of the V&A exhibition Uncomfortable Truths (2007), Swallow Hard : The Lancaster Dinner service (2007) and Talking on Corners Speaking in Tongues (2007) were all central to the cultural events surrounding the commemoration of the 200th anniversary the Abolition of the Slave Trade in Britain.

Her contribution to the publication (2005) and conference(2001) Shades of Black Assembling Black Arts in 1980s Britain at Duke University in the U.S.A. spoke of the importance of black artists archiving the history of their own visual contribution.

In Fabrications at CUBE in Manchester a group show in which with her monumental installation Cotton. Com (2002) she explored the tangible yet hidden links between the factories in Manchester and the fields of Carolina. For Inside the Invisible (2001) commissioned by The Leprosy Museum in Bergen she examined the twin dilemmas of identity and belonging, which developed out of the questions asked in the solo exhibitions Plan B at Tate St Ives and Zanzibar at Oriel Mostyn in 2000.; how can you tell the difference between safety and danger.

Curating exhibitions and small interventions in spaces such as the Bowes Museum County Durham (2004) and educational, cultural and community venues in the north west has recently been central to her practice as a visual art facilitator and cultural activist.

As part of the larger project started in the early 80’s with shows such as the Thin Black Line (1986) and Black Woman Time Now(1983) devised to highlight the contribution black artists have made to visual art in Britain, she has with Susan Walsh in collaboration with the Interpretation and Education Team at Tate Liverpool, produced and distributed Open Sesame (2005) and The Point of Collection (2007) These are two DVD/text research documents which examine and reveal the contribution made to the exhibition education and collecting strategies at Tate in recent decades by artists of African, African/American, Asian and Caribbean descent.

Lubaina Himid’s work has been profiled as part of the #100 Works that Belong to You project which celebrates 12 years of acquisitions by the Outset/Frieze Art Fair Fund to benefit the Tate Collection (OFT). 100 works by 69 artists were acquired for the National Collection by OFT between 2003 and 2014 and the video profiling Lubaina’s work can be accessed via Vimeo.

Lubaina was awarded an MBE in June 2010 for services to black women's art. She has spent her 35-year career shining a light on the trade in enslaved people and the contribution made by the people of the Black Diaspora.
In 2019 the Royal Academy of Arts elected Lubaina as a Royal Academician in the category of Painting.

Lubaina helped to organise the Creative Conversations: Black Women Artists Making and Doing two-day symposium in January 2020. In this video, Lubaina and PhD Student Jade Montserrat tell us about the event which was a major celebration of black women’s art in Britain, marking over 40 years of black female artists making an impact in the UK.


  • B.A. Theatre Design Wimbledon Art School London 1976
  • M.A. Cultural History Royal College of Art London 1984


Himid, Lubaina (2012) kangas from the lost sample book. [Artefact]

Himid, Lubaina (2011) Thin Black Line(s). [Show/Exhibition]

Himid, Lubaina (2010) Jelly Pavilions at Liverpool 2010 Jelly Pavilions Leeds Art Gallery Northern Art Prize 2011. [Show/Exhibition]

Himid, Lubaina (2011) What are monuments for? Possible landmarks on the urban map Paris/London. In: 8th Collegium for African American Research (CAAR) Conference - Black Knowledge, Black Struggle, Civil Rights, 25-29th March 2009, Bremen, Germany. (Unpublished)

More publications


Naming the Money 100 painted life sized wooden cut outs exploring the trauma of enslavement, the struggle for belonging and strategies for survival.

Invited keynote papers on this work were delivered at:

The Art & Diasporas conference at the Clarke Institute Massachusetts April 2008 The Society for Multi Ethnic studies: Europe and Americas conference in June 2008 a The Collegium for African American Research conference on Diasporas and Migration in March 2009.

Common Wild Flowers Kangas and Other Stories a series of paintings in which audience is asked to engage in discussion around cross cultural exchange contribution visibility and representation. Works from this series will form part of commissions for museum trails and interventions during 2008 and 2009.

Negative positives a series of Guardian newspaper pages gathered during one year in which the subtle narratives behind photographs and headlines relating to people from Africa and the Black Diaspora are revealed, using painted patterns and strategic juxtapositions.

Exhibitions and Events

  • Lubaina Himid was curator of the ContemporaryAnd (C&) ‘Carte de Visite' exhibition at Hollybush Gardens in London from 04 Dec 2015 - 23 Jan 2016. For more details about the exhibition visit  Contemporary And (C&) website.
  • On 3rd March 2016  Lubaina was at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in London in conversation with Paul Goodwin, curator and Director of TrAIN (Transnational Art, Identity and Nation) , as part of the ‘Exhibition Histories’ series of talks .  For more information see: The Whitechapel Gallery Website
  • On 21st March 2016  Lubaina was a keynote speaker in conversation with Dr Dorothy Price at the ‘Framing the Critical Decade’: After the Black Arts Movement’ conference .  For more information see: Framing the Critical Decade Wordpress
  • From 16th April to 2nd October 2016 Lubaina exhibited at the Van AbbeMuseum in the Netherlands as part of the ‘The 1980’s today’s beginnings’ exhibition.  For more information see: Van AbbeMuseum Website
  • Lubaina was an exhibiting artist as part of ‘The Place is Here’ at Nottingham Contemporary exhibition between 4 February and 30 April 2017.  The exhibition also featured extensive materials from The Making Histories Visible Archive at UCLan. Find out more about the exhibition.

Forthcoming exhibitions and events for 2019 include:


  • Hollybush Gardens Gallery London launch of the monograph Lubaina Himid : Workshop Manual published by Koenig Books
  • Public lecture and in conversation at Ludwig Museum Cologne with curator Anja Casser around current exhibition and magazine project at the museum


  • North West launch of the monograph Lubaina Himid : Workshop Manual published by Koenig Books
  • Major display at the ‘Sharjah Biennial 14: Leaving the Echo Chamber’ in UAE


  • Curatorial project and exhibition at Newlyn Art Gallery with Magda Stawarska-Beavan and Rebecca Chesney from UCLan
  • Public lecture at Storey Institute around the reopening of the Judges Lodgings Lancaster
  • Install and launch of Lubaina’s year long commission of artwork at High Line Sculpture Project, New York
  • Painting at historic Porthmeor Studios at St Ives (Tate St Ives)


  • Public talk at Tate St Ives


  • Showcase at Basle Art Fair
  • Install and launch major solo show at New Museum New York


  • Install and launch solo show at Tate Britain


  • Install and launch exhibition at Lauda Foundation, Vienna
  • Women we Create public event, London, UK


  • Install and launch of Naming the Money exhibition in Bordeaux, France


  • Install and launch exhibition and intervention at Frans Hals Museum and Meat Market Gallery. Haarlem, Netherlands


Visual Art of the Black Diaspora

Contemporary Feminist Visual Art

Media representation of Black people in Britain

Teaching Activities and Responsibilities

Currently teaching across a range of media and courses at B.A. and M.A. level, particularly painting, moving image, and Site and Archive Interventions.

External Activities

Board member Arts Council England (North West)
Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts

ACE 2007 Swallow Hard: Lancaster Dinner Service, The Judges Lodgings Lancaster.
ACE 2003 Naming the Money, Hatton Gallery Newcastle.