Kangas from the lost sample book (2011/12)
Lubaina Himid is a painter whose recent work has centred on effective ways for artists to broaden relationships with museums. Using the often hidden or neglected objects in collections she works with curators to broker conversations between these objects, museums and audiences, bridging the gaps between the histories and contemporary life. At the Whitworth, working with the textile department team, she examined the Gallery’s small group of 20th century East African ‘kangas’, taking photographs and making preparatory drawings. She has compared these with her own kanga collection, using the many patterns and motifs from both groups to make new work on paper. Referencing the Swahili sayings or slogans found on traditional kangas this series of large paper works, entitled Kangas from the lost sample book (2011/12), uses invented texts that evoke a sense of impending danger coupled with our dogged desire to survive.
…Invented texts that evoke a sense of impending danger coupled with our dogged desire to survive.
Lubaina Himid is Professor of Contemporary Art at the University of Central Lancashire and has been awarded an MBE for services to Black women’s art. Her work is represented in the collections of Manchester City Galleries, Tate, Arts Council England, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Touchstones Rochdale, Judges Lodgings Lancaster, Murray Edwards – New Hall Cambridge, Bolton Museum and Art Gallery, Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Preston, Uclan Paperworks Collection, The Victoria & Albert Museum and Leeds Art Gallery. Her most recent exhibition and curatorial museum intervention is Thin Black Line(s) at Tate Britain (August 2011-March 2012).
Courtesy of the artist.
Photographs © Denise Swanson