I like me a good piece of art and I’m always trying to embrace new types and styles, genres and artists. Sometimes I read about an ‘avant-garde’ or ‘challenging’ artist and wonder of it’ll be for me; or someone whose politics take centre stage and worry that probably means a somewhat liberal and one-eyed view of the world.
Lubaina Himid is described thusly, as well as being a black activist feminist which, likes all labels is limiting rather than explicatory.
But nothing ventured, off we set for the Tate Modern, the gallery within a redundant power station to see this exhibition of her work.
And yes, there were pieces on slavery and on the evils of Thatcher and Reagan and the constraints placed on women by societal norms but there was a lot else besides.
There were sound installations and a room ringed by a stripe that was intriguing. There were pieces that looked at the uncertainties of the modern male in a world where he was unsure how he might fit. And settings for operas which she is also famous for.
There were painted jelly moulds and people in drawers and wave forms and strange empty chairs.
And did I mention the colour? Lots of colour.
The styles were pretty gauche which is usually not a reflection on her skills but on her concepts, though there was precious little evidence she ever painted any other way which I found a bit limiting.
It’s not a large exhibition, and it doesn’t ask much if its audience, but I found it an enjoyable hour before a cheese toastie and coffee called me away.