Lubaina Himid has been awarded the Turner Prize 2017, making her the oldest and the first woman of colour to ever win the renowned accolade. She would previously not have qualified for the award, as until this year the upper age limit for entry was 50. Lubaina was awarded the prize in a live broadcast on BBC Four by Goldie; she wins £25,000, while the other shortlisted artists – Hurvin Anderson, Andrea Büttner and Rosalind Nashashibi – win £5,000.
According to the judges, Lubaina was selected for a trio of “outstanding shows” in Oxford, Bristol and Nottingham, and her “uncompromising tackling of issues including colonial history and how racism persists today”. They also commented that they “admire her expansive and exuberant approach to painting which combines satire and a sense of theatre,” and her role as an influential curator and educator, who “continues to speak urgently to the moment”.
Lubaina moved to Britain from Zanzibar in 1954 when she was four months old, and studied at Wimbledon and the RCA. In the 80s she helped to pioneer the British Black Arts Movement, a radical political art movement inspired by anti-racist discourse and feminist critique. You can read more about her views on this time, and her current work, in our feature interview with Lubaina from earlier this year.
The Turner Prize was established in 1984 to honour a British artist for an outstanding exhibition or other presentation of their work in the past 12 months. Judges include Dan Fox, co-editor of Frieze, Emily Pethick, director of Showroom, and Alex Farquharson, director of Tate Britain.
An ongoing exhibition of the four shortlisted artists at Ferens Art Gallery in Hull is open until 7 January 2018.