Lubaina Himid CBE was born in Tanzania in 1954 and moved to the UK at the age of four. Throughout her career she has lived in Preston, Lancashire and she is now Professor of Contemporary Art at the University of Lancashire. She initially trained as a theatre designer and is known for her large cut out sculptures and bold painting, which challenge traditional depictions of people of colour in British art history. In 2017 she became the first woman of colour to win the Turner Prize.
Throughout her career, she has examined the discrimination confronting black female artists and speaks of how black women are made ‘doubly invisible’ in culture. Attempting to ‘paint the world into a better place’, she celebrates black creativity and reclaim black images appropriated by European artists.
The paintings ‘In Spinster’s Salt Collection’ and ‘Sour Grapes’ are both from a series of works called ‘The Wing Museum’ (1989), which depicts an imaginary travelling exhibition of black cultural objects. ‘In Spinster’s Salts Collection’ features an ancient Egyptian mirror and a pair of sistra (instruments associated with the female devotees of the Egyptian cow-goddess Hathor). They also resemble gynaecological tools. The works offer a critique of the way in which Western museums treat African and female artefacts.