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Crown (2019)

Lubaina Himid

acrylic and pencil on paper

Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool

Crown (2019)

© Lubaina Himid



Drawing and Watercolour


Acrylic, Pencil


102 x 72 cm


Presented by the Contemporary Art Society, 2020/21

Ownership history:

Purchased from Hollybush Gardens by the Contemporary Art Society, 28 July 2020; presented to Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool, 2019/20


Black (presence)
Lubaina Himid was one of the first members of the Black Arts Movement founded in the 1980s, and has since continued to make activist art. Himid strives to bring visibility to marginalised historical narratives of Black people by interrogating their relationship with colonialism and Empire. Dominant structures of wealth, gender, class and colonialism are prominent themes engaged with through resistance and resilience.

Himid paints on a variety of materials from paper to wood and ceramics, manipulating scale and depth to confront invisible narratives. Her work is mostly figurative and has a theatrical quality. It is rich in bright colour and patterns. Ultimately, Himid aims to develop a conversation with an audience, and to ascribe value to Black people’s contribution to Europe’s culture over the past several hundred years.

Himid created a second series of work to which The Crown belongs, whilst creating work for her solo exhibition at the New Museum in New York. The Crown is part of a series of works that delves into the relationship between people and objects. The inspiration for The Crown comes from Himid’s own family as her grandparents were successful publicans in the North of England. The painting explores her interest in restitution, through the theme ‘make do and mend’. ‘Make do and mend’ ultimately expresses how traumas have been navigated by Black people over the past 600 years, the broken sign representing the complexity of the relationship that many people have with Empire.

Himid has a close collection with the Blackpool region where the Grundy Art Gallery is situated. Himid arrived in Blackpool when she migrated to England from Zanzibar. Honouring this connection, The Grundy Art Gallery is pleased to receive this work, featuring The Crown as the first work in ‘Collection Spotlight – Portrait’, a series of collection-focused exhibitions that, throughout 2021, will celebrate the 110th anniversary of the Grundy.

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