Lubaina Himid (born Zanzibar; 1954) studied at Wimbledon College of Arts, University of Arts London and the Royal College of Art. Himid is known for her painterly rewritings of history. She has also curated significant group exhibitions such as Five Black Women at the Africa Centre in 1983, Black Women Time Now at Battersea Arts Centre in 1983-84 and The Thin Black Line at the Institute for Contemporary Art in 1985.
Dream Team and More Tax or Less Music are from the series Lost Election Posters. The backgrounds for Himid’s figures and animals continue her interest in textiles and household goods such as baskets or ceramics, whilst also referencing Bridget Riley’s Op Art. Himid’s patterns are often employed to create a space between European modernism and non-Western traditions. Himid chooses titles creating impossible choices or utopian scenarios; using phrases which contrast strongly with current political realities.
1792, 1974 and 2015 are an extension of the Lost Election series. In these paintings Himid allows the figure take more of a centre stage. The word ‘vote’ still often appears in a minimal way, for example on buttons. Both series are underpinned by the idea of political agency: 1792 is the date that Toussaint L’Ouverture became the military leader for the Haitian uprising, the female figure in 1974 is a woman from the feminist era, and 2015 depicts a contemporary black man with ‘vote’ discreetly written into his button.