Lubaina Himid CBE: BIRDSONG HELD US TOGETHER
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BIRDSONG HELD US TOGETHER, 2020
Edition of 40 (plus artist and school proofs)
Signed and numbered by the artist
Dimensions: 76 x 49.5 cm
Print is unframed
‘Spring 2020 arrived, and all of us were locked in for most of the time. Luckily the weather was good, the sun shone almost every day. We went out, on our own, and walked near sparkling rivers and in among elegant trees, along empty streets and in nearby parks. We encountered people on these outings who we didn’t know but we smiled and greeted them politely. We missed meeting our friends and going out in groups to buy things in familiar shops. Some people felt quite lonely, others didn’t mind too much, but luckily the birdsong held us together.’ Lubaina Himid CBE, 2020
Launched in 2018 by The Hepworth Wakefield, School Prints is an ambitious five-year project to engage every primary school child in Wakefield District with contemporary art. Each year, the participating schools are gifted a set of limited-edition prints by leading contemporary artists for display in school and are supported with an in-depth engagement programme led by local artists to encourage creativity across the curriculum.
Nicola Freeman, Director of Engagement & Learning at The Hepworth Wakefield, said: “The prominence and urgency of the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020 has brought into sharp focus the lack of diversity across the arts and museum sector. As part of a number of initiatives to address this in all areas of our work at The Hepworth Wakefield, we are reshaping our Continuing Professional Development programmes for teachers and all future work with schools to support the teaching of black histories across the curriculum, starting by making this campaign the focus of School Prints 2021. We are delighted that this project is supported by such fantastic artists who have so generously given their time and creativity to help us in this endeavour.”
Lubaina Himid said: “It is vital that our young people can feel that they are important to us and begin to understand that we are all committed to investing in every way we can to help them expand and extend their potential.”
School Prints is inspired by a ground-breaking scheme set up in the 1940s where artists, including Henri Matisse, Henry Moore and Pablo Picasso, were commissioned to create prints specifically for schools to allow children to have direct access to high-quality art. Artists who have taken part in The Hepworth Wakefield’s revival of the scheme include Fiona Banner, Sir Peter Blake, Sir Michael Craig-Martin, Martin Creed, Jeremy Deller, Anthea Hamilton, Helen Marten, Haroon Mirza, Laure Prouvost, Linder Sterling, Francis Upritchard, Richard Wentworth and Rose Wylie.
School Prints is supported by Eridge Trust and The Curwen Studios.
Lubaina Himid CBE (b. 1954, Zanzibar, Tanzania; lives and works in Preston)
Himid makes paintings, prints, drawings and installations that celebrate Black creativity while challenging institutional invisibility. She references European colonial history and its legacies, and addresses the significant cultural contribution made by people of the African diaspora. Whether working on paper, fabric, dismantled pianos or directly onto porcelain tableware, Himid continually subjects painting to the material of everyday life in order to explore the nuances of Black identity. Alongside her artistic practice Himid has curated exhibitions to showcase underrepresented women artists.
Recent solo exhibitions include Work from Underneath, New Museum, New York (2019); Our Kisses are Petals, BALTIC, Gateshead (2018); Gifts to Kings, MRAC Languedoc Roussillon Midi-Pyrénées, Sérignan, France (2018); with a forthcoming show at Tate Modern in 2021. Himid won the Turner Prize in 2017.
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