Lubaina Himid Was Told ‘Black People Don’t Make Art’

The artist made history as the first black woman to win the Turner Prize in 2017

PICTURED: Lubaina Himid won the Turner Prize 2017

ARTIST LUBAINA Himid has said she was told “black people don’t make art” before achieving success.

Himid made history as the first black woman to win the Turner Prize, after she took home the prestigious award in 2017 for her work addressing racial politics and slavery.

Speaking to Lauren Laverne on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Discs, the 65-year-old said these firsts were “bittersweet” but gave people hope that the UK art industry was becoming more diverse.

“We were not on the television, we were not in the newspapers, unless something drastic and dangerous happened.

“I guess the notion of black people being artists was completely alien to people in the British art world,” said Himid.

“Someone actually said to me ‘black people don’t make art’.”

Despite the difficulties Himid faced, she’s gone onto have a successful career. She was made an MBE in 2010 for her services to black women’s art, and later won the Turner Prize.

She added: “There are many black women that have been up for it in the recent history of the prize.

“I was happy to win it, but it was bittersweet. What people have said to me is that it gave people hope that things were changing.”

“The important thing is that we need to keep building on these changes. We have to keep vigilant, and just make sure everything is fair.”

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