The Harris has had a long relationship with Lubaina, showing her work on a number of occasions including most recently Moments that Matter (2012).
Himid has chosen the title Hard Times with reference to Charles Dickens’ novel, inspired by his visit to Preston during the workers’ Lock-out of 1853.
Himid’s A Fashionable Marriage, reworking Hogarth's painting, is at the heart of this exhibition, as in her Turner Prize show in Hull. In Preston visitors can walk through this theatrical setting, and its passionate challenge to the hypocrisy of the art world and Eighties society – ideas that are finding a renewed relevance thirty years on.
Himid is Professor of Contemporary Art at the University of Central Lancashire in Preston, where she curates the Making Histories Visible research project and Black Art archive. Behind these projects and her own work is a focus on belonging – that everybody matters.
Bone in the China: Success to the Africa Trade asks ‘where are the memories … of black people’s lives’? Inside the Invisible, seen for the first time in the UK, gives voices to the patients excluded from society in a now abandoned Norwegian leprosy hospital. Each of the 40 small paintings is a different pattern in many colours, in which you may – or may not – see the memory encapsulated in its handwritten label.
The Feast Wagons were originally a response to the flow of Syrian migrants in 2016. This installation of handcarts painted with exotic beasts brings together individual and collective action – you are invited to reconfigure them to create new relationships.
The three works by Himid in the Harris' collection, including Hannibal's Sister, are also on display. And work by women artists has been selected by Himid for display on the Stairway.