Himid – born in in Zanzibar, Tanzania and now based in Preston, Lancashire – said she was “thrilled” to win, and thanked a list of long-time supporters in her acceptance speech.
She is an artist who, arguably, has been overlooked and undervalued for most of her career. Himid said she was never overlooked by curators or other artists but she was never in the press, perhaps because her work “was too complicated to talk about”. She added: “I guess the issues I was dealing with were complex, many-layered, and you’ve got to sell newspapers.”
Winning the prize meant a lot to her, she said. “I won it for all the times where we put our heads above the parapet, we tried to do things, we failed, people died in the meantime … for all the black women who never did win it even though they had been shortlisted … it feels good for that reason.”