The great and good of Preston turned out for the launch night of Turner Prize-winner Lubaina Himid’s homecoming exhibition.
Visitors to Hard Times at the Harris Art Gallery walked through the bold life-sized characters in A Fashionable Marriage and moved Feast Wagons around as they reflected on the piece of work which considers the effect of migration on people.
Lubaina, professor of Contemporary Art at the University of Central Lancashire, said: “One of the main things that’s important to me is the Harris shows more contemporary work and so I’m trying to help that debate by showing this work here and proving that it’s incredibly popular, that contemporary art is not frightening.”
Looking at the wagons displayed in one room acupuncturist Catherine Swales said: “This piece of work is about immigration. Preston has a history of welcoming people into the city. This has a picture of a cockroach on it. It’s very thought-provoking.”
Psychology student Geethma Aponsu, 22, told the Post that she liked the “unapologetic” nature of Lubaina’s work. She said: “It’s beautiful. It’s got a different perspective.
“I think it’s great for Preston, I think we need more art like this.”
Richard Hinchcliffe, who knows Lubaina from working at UCLan said: “It’s great, I like art that’s rebellious and upsets the status quo, that’s what art should do”
Other works on show include Bone in the China: Success to the Africa Trade and Inside the Invisible, seen for the first time in the UK, and The Feast Wagons.
Throughout the course of the three-month show, Lubaina has invited selected artists, currently working in the city, to curate exhibition and events bringing in a number of international artists.
Special creative events taking place during the course of the show include Art Zoo by artist Jane Elizabeth Bennett, which will provide a chance for visitors to see artists at work, including Lubaina herself.
Artist Rebecca Chesney will invite prominent women working in the sector to discuss the lack of representation of women artists in national and public collections.
Another conversation event Artists and Books: Reading the Threads will also feature Lubaina in conversation with black artists.
The show will also feature Men Who Care, by William Titley, an interactive piece of sculpture made from two antique gentlemen’s wardrobes.
There will also be a film installation by artist Tao Lashley-Burnley.
The Hard Times exhibition is free and open seven days a week until June 3.