Hollybush Gardens is pleased to present a selection of drawings by Lubaina Himid that are being exhibited for the first time. This body of work was produced as part of the research process for what became Tailor, Striker, Singer, Dandy, a series of five painted portraits of black men that developed out of Himid’s encounter with the West African textiles held in the Manchester City Galleries’ extensive collection of historical fashion and clothing.
Himid, whose mother was a textile designer, has been fascinated by patterns in garments since childhood. Patterns have populated her work from the 1980s to today, enlivening the visual surface and weaving together disparate threads—cultural, geographical, historical. Himid explains, ‘I love the language of pattern, its immense potential for movement, illusion, colour experiments and subliminal political messaging.’
In developing the life-size portraits of Tailor, Striker, Singer, Dandy, Himid produced a body of drawings that interpret and re-contextualise the textiles she found in the collection. Colour, shape, and repetition are taken as devices embedded in clothing that are mobile and malleable, shifting in meaning across contexts. The drawings re-embed historical textile samples and clothing designs in the imagined male figures in anachronistic ways, animating the multi-directional and cross-historical flow of patterns in self-fashioning and identity.
Lubaina Himid lives and works in Preston, UK and is a professor at the University of Central Lancashire. She was awarded the Turner Prize in 2017. Her solo exhibitions include The New Museum, New York (forthcoming June 2019); Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem, The Netherlands (forthcoming 2019); Musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux (forthcoming 2019); Gifts to Kings, MRAC Languedoc Roussillon Midi-Pyrénées, Sérignan, France (2018); Navigation Charts, Spike Island, Bristol (2017); Invisible Strategies, Modern Art Oxford (2017); and The Truth Is Never Watertight, Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe, Germany (2017). Significant group exhibitions include: Glasgow International (2018); Berlin Biennale (2018); The Place is Here, Nottingham Contemporary (2017); Keywords, Tate Liverpool (2014); and Gwangju Biennale (2014). A monograph, titled Lubaina Himid: Workshop Manual, was released in January 2019 (Koenig Books).Installation view, photo: Andy Keate.