Lubaina Himid has been announced the winner of the 2017 Turner Prize at an award ceremony at Hull Minster that was also broadcast live on the BBC. She was presented the £25,000 prize by the DJ, musician and artist, Goldie.
In a calmly delivered acceptance speech, she thanked a long list of artists, curators, friends and family, including “my mother for letting me do what I wanted as long as I came home by 10pm”. She also talked about her “wilderness years”, when her work was overlooked by the visual arts establishment and was rarely written about in the press.
The Preston-based artist, who was part of the British Black Arts Movement in the 1980s, works across painting, installation, drawing and printmaking. She was nominated for the solo exhibitions ‘Lubaina Himid: Invisible Strategies’ at Modern Art Oxford and ‘Navigation Charts’ at Spike Island, Bristol, along with her presentation in the group exhibition ‘The Place is Here’ at Nottingham Contemporary.
At 63, Himid is the oldest artist to win the Turner Prize and also the first black woman to receive the award. Born in Zanzibar, Tanzania, Himid left the country when she was only four months old. Her work deals with issues of race and the representation of black people in British society, tackling themes such as black identity, media representation, migration and the history of the slave trade.
Her exhibition at Ferens Art Gallery, Hull includes the satirical installation A Fashionable Marriage, made in 1987. In her Turner Prize exhibition review for a-n News, Fisun Güner describes the installation as ‘riffing on Hogarth’s series of narrative and wittily moralising paintings Marriage A-la-Mode‘. It includes images of Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan and other politically charged 1980s references.
Himid’s Turner Prize show also features more recent works, such as her 2007 Swallow Hard: Lancaster Dinner Service series and recent examples from her Negative Positives: The Guardian Series (2007-2016), which explores photographic representations of black people in the Guardian newspaper.
As well as her art practice, Himid is a professor of contemporary art at the University of Central Lancashire, Preston where she is the lead academic for the Making Histories Visible project, which focuses on black visual art and its contribution to the cultural landscape.
This year’s shortlist was the first Turner Prize since Tate lifted its previous under 50 age limit. The youngest shortlisted artist was London-based filmmaker Rosalind Nashashibi, 44. She was nominated for her solo exhibition ‘On This Island’ at The University Art Galleries at UC Irvine’s Claire Trevor School of the Arts in California, and for her participation in Documenta 14.
London-based German artist Andrea Büttner was nominated for her solo exhibitions ‘Andrea Büttner: Gesamtzusammenhang’ at Kunsthalle Sankt Gallen in Switzerland and ‘Andrea Büttner’ at David Kordansky in Los Angeles. She works across various media including printmaking, sculpture, video and painting, and often using archival material.
Birmingham-born painter Hurvin Anderson was nominated for his solo exhibitions ‘Hurvin Anderson: Dub Versions’ at New Art Exchange in Nottingham and ‘Hurvin Anderson: Backdrop’ at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Canada. His paintings draw from both art history and his own Caribbean heritage.
The members of the Turner Prize 2017 jury were: Dan Fox, co-editor at Frieze, Martin Herbert, art critic, Mason Leaver-Yap, Walker Art Center’s Bentson Scholar of Moving Image in Minneapolis and Associate Curator at KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin, and Emily Pethick, director, Showroom. Chair of the jury is Tate Britain director Alex Farquharson.
Recent winners of the Turner Prize include: Helen Marten (2016), Assemble (2015), Duncan Campbell (2014) and Laure Prouvost (2013). Past winners have included Gilbert and George, Richard Long, Antony Gormley, Gillian Wearing, Fiona Banner, Simon Starling, Mark Wallinger and Susan Philipsz.
Additional reporting by Chris Sharratt
1. Lubaina Himid. Lubaina Himid, photographed at Invisible Strategies exhibition, Modern Art Oxford, 2017. Photo: Edmund Blok
2. Lubaina Himid, Swallow Hard: The Lancaster Dinner Service, 2007. The Turner Prize Exhibition. Ferens Art Gallery. Hull. Photo: David Levene
3. Lubaina Himid, A Fashionable Marriage, 1987. The Turner Prize Exhibition. Ferens Art Gallery. Hull. Photograph by David Levene 23/9/17
4. Rosalind Nashashibi, Electric Gaza, 2015. The Turner Prize Exhibition. Ferens Art Gallery. Hull. Photo: David Levene
5. Andrea Buttner, Yes, I believe, every word you say, 2007. The Turner Prize exhibition. Ferens Art Gallery. Hull. Photo: David Levene
6. Hurvin Anderson, Peter’s Sitters II, 2009 (left) and Flat Top, 2008. The Turner Prize Exhibition. Ferens Art Gallery. Hull. Photo: David Levene
The Turner Prize 2017 exhibition continues at Ferens Art Gallery, Hull until 7 January 2018.
UPDATED: 6 December 2017.