Tanzania-born artist Lubaina Himid brings her epic work to Walker Art Gallery, including work selected by the artist from the Arts Council Collection.
Born in Zanzibar and now settled in the North West of England as a Professor of Contemporary Art, Lubaina Himid has an interesting tale of her own. But the regional debut of her installation Naming the Money will bring 100 less happy stories of migration to light at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool.
The installation consists of 100 plywood cut-outs of slaves, emigres and asylum seekers. Painted in the bright colours of courtiers, the effect is theatrical, made more so by a soundtrack in which each figure talks about their past life and their present predicament.
Each of them also has an old name and a new one: a poignant detail that underlines the identity crisis which exiles must always feel.
Liverpool has of course welcomed many permanent arrivals from overseas, and Himid has gifted Naming the Money to the city’s International Slavery Museum. Albert Dock will be its new home and the venue has plenty to celebrate in its 10th anniversary year.
Himid is hot property at the moment, having already enjoyed simultaneous shows at Modern Art Oxford and Spike Island in Bristol in 2017. The former demonstrated her facility with narrative in paint. The latter was more sculptural and gave UK gallery-goers their first chance to weave in and out of the stories in Naming the Money.