Materials for Change: A Conversation with Lubaina Himid (Autumn Art Lecture)


24 November 2022, 6.30 PM - 24 November 2022, 7.45 PM

Lubaina Himid and Michael Wellen

Reception Room, Wills Memorial Building, Queens Road, Bristol, BS8 1QE

 This lecture is part of the 2022 Autumn Art Lecture series: 

Modernisms: Decolonising art's history

Book your free ticket on Eventbrite:

About the Autumn Art Lectures

This year’s Autumn Art Lectures are back in person to challenge the concept of Modernism as a monolithic entity: Is there just one Modernism or are there many? What does it mean to think of Modernism on the global stage? Is there such a thing as an ‘alternative’ Modernism or is Modernism itself already inherently hybrid? As many institutions, from galleries and museums to universities, engage with the challenges of embracing global visual culture, this investigation is both vital and timely. Our inter-disciplinary speakers include academics, curators, artists and pedagogues who have grappled with the idea of the Modern, paying particular attention to blackness, Asian-ness, difference and decolonisation. The series aims to expose diversity at the heart of the Modern.

The Autumn Art Lecture series is hosted by the University of Bristol's Faculty of Arts with support from the Centre for Black Humanities and Bristol Ideas.

About this event

Turner Prize-winning artist and cultural activist Lubaina Himid is known for her innovative approaches to painting and to social engagement. Initially trained in theatre design, she has been pivotal in the UK since the 1980s for her contributions to the British Black arts movement, making space for the expression and recognition of Black experience and women’s creativity. Over the last decade, she has earned international recognition for her figurative paintings, which explore overlooked and invisible aspects of history and of contemporary everyday life.

Following the major exhibition of her work at Tate Modern, she discusses with curator Michael Wellen the questions involved in making a show that puts visitors centerstage. Their conversation will centre on the artist’s long-standing interests in activist theatre and opera, architecture and monuments, music and sound, textiles, and poetry. They will discuss how these interests inform Himid’s approaches to painting, collaboration, individual actions and efforts towards change and improvement.

This conversation is presented with an introduction by Dr Zehra Jumabhoy (History of Art, University of Bristol), who will also moderate the Q&A with the audience.

About the speakers

Lubaina Himid (b. 1954, Zanzibar) lives and works in Preston, UK, and is Emeritus Professor of Contemporary Art at the University of Central Lancashire. She is the winner of the 2017 Turner Prize. A major monographic exhibition of Himid’s work opened at Tate Modern, London, 2021 and travels to MuseĢe cantonal des Beaux-Arts de Lausanne in 2022. Significant solo exhibitions include Water Has a Perfect Memory, Hollybush Gardens, London (2022); Spotlights, Tate Britain, London (2019); The Grab Test, Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem, The Netherlands (2019); Lubaina Himid, CAPC Bordeaux, France (2019) and Work From Underneath, New Museum, New York (2019).

Michael Wellen is Curator, International Art at Tate Modern and specialist of modern and contemporary art from Latin America. His work involves the strategic building and expansion of Tate’s collection, particularly towards post-colonial and transnational art histories. At Tate Modern, he curated the survey exhibition Takis with Guy Brett and conceived of pivotal collection displays such as Cecilia Vicuña and Joseph Beuys, A Year in Art: 1973, and staged Ernesto Salmerón's Auras of War in Turbine Hall as well as live performances of Tunga’s work. He is also curator for the forthcoming Philip Guston. Prior to Tate, he served as Assistant Curator of Latin American and Latino Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. He received an MA and PhD in art history from the University of Texas at Austin, and was awarded the Jacob K Javits fellowship for his research on Latin American exhibitions during the Cold War.


Book your free ticket on Eventbrite:

Check out the other events in the Autumn Art Lecture series:

Contact information

If you have any queries regarding this event, please contact

Autumn Art Lecture 2022 image

Edit this page