The Contemporary Art Society has acquired a work on paper by Turner Prize winner Lubaina Himid CBE for the Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool. A key figure in the Black British Arts movement, central to her work is visibility of marginalised African diaspora narratives. Himid challenges Western painting canons with her critical and confrontational works that portray the impact of Black narratives in the past and present.
The inspiration for The Crown comes from Himid’s own family, as her grandparents were successful pub owners in the North of England. A man stands tall in a smart, European-style trench-coat. He gazes into the distance, perhaps reminiscing about a precolonial past through the dismal grey climate. A broken pub sign, depicting a crown, hangs above. Situated almost awkwardly, the broken sign might represent the complexity of the relationship that many people have with colonialism.
The Crown is part of a series of works that depict the relationship between a figure and an object arbitrary tied to Empire. The inspiration for the series is the theme ‘make do and mend’ which suggest the myriad of ways in which people of the African Diaspora have become resilient when encountering hardships in the past.
Opening for the Winter 2021 exhibition from January 16th until February 27th, 2021, Grundy Art Gallery will feature The Crown in ‘Collection Spotlight – Portrait’. The first in a series of collection focused exhibitions that will celebrate the 110th anniversary of the Grundy. Grundy Art Gallery are particularly pleased to welcome The Crown into the collection due to the close personal ties that Himid has to Blackpool as the first town she arrived in after leaving Zanzibar.
Lubaina Himid CBE (b. 1954, Zanzibar, Tanzania) lives and works in Preston. Recent solo exhibitions include Frans Hals Museum, The Netherlands (2019), Musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux, France (2019) and New Museum, New York (2019). Recent group shows include WIELS Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels (2020), Lethaby Gallery, London (2019) and Hayward Gallery touring exhibition (2019). In November 2021, Tate Modern will feature Himid in a solo exhibition until May 2022. Himid is the 2017 Turner Art Prize winner and Professor of Contemporary Art at the University of Central Lancashire.