Lubaina Himid: Hard Times

Lubaina Himid, A Fashionable Marriage, 1986 [detail]. Mixed media installation. Courtesy of the artist and Hollybush Gardens, London. Installation view, The Place is Here, Nottingham Contemporary, 2017.

Lubaina Himid, A Fashionable Marriage, 1986 [detail]. Mixed media installation. Courtesy of the artist and Hollybush Gardens, London. Installation view, The Place is Here, Nottingham Contemporary, 2017.


The Harris Museum in Preston is presenting an exhibition by 2017 Turner Prize winner and Preston-based artist Professor Lubaina Himid MBE. 

The exhibition is entitled Hard Times, a title chosen by the artist in reference to Charles Dickens’ eponym novel inspired by his visit to Preston during the workers’ Lock-out of 1853.
At the heart of the display is A Fashionable Marriage (1987), Himid’s reworking of Hogarth’s painting. Visitors can walk through this theatrical setting and its passionate challenge to the hypocrisy of the art world and Eighties society – ideas that remain relevant thirty years on.

Her installation Bone in the China: Success to the Africa Trade (1985) asks ‘where are the memories … of black people’s lives’? Inside the Invisible (2002), seen for the first time in the UK, gives voices to the patients excluded from society in a now abandoned Norwegian leprosy hospital. Each of the 40 small paintings is a different pattern in many colours, in which you may – or may not – see the memory encapsulated in its handwritten label.
The Feast Wagons (2015) were originally a response to the flow of Syrian migrants in 2016. This installation of handcarts painted with “exotic” beasts brings together individual and collective action – one is invited to reconfigure them to create new relationships.

Three of her works from the Harris collection, including Hannibal’s Sister (1989), are also on display. Work by women artists has also been selected by Lubaina Himid for display on the Stairway.

Alongside the exhibition is also planned a programme of events. See here for more information.

In addition to her artistic practice, Lubaina Himid is Professor of Contemporary Art at the University of Central Lancashire in Preston, where she leads Making Histories Visible, a Black Art archive and multidisciplinary contemporary arts research project.

Her work is also currently on show at Hollybush Gardens, London, until 24 March.

Lubaina Himid: Hard Times 
2 March to 3 June 2018

Harris Museum, Art Gallery & Library
Market Square
Preston PR1 2PP
Free entry

Create a website or blog at