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Zanzibarian Artist Becomes First Woman Of Colour To Win Turner Prize

Lubaina Himid has been honoured with the oldest world's most cutting-edge prize.

07/12/2017 06:56 SAST | Updated 07/12/2017 06:56 SAST
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Detail of artwork by Lubaina Himid entitled 'A Fashionable Marriage', which features images of former British Prime Minster Margaret Thatcher, and forms part of her submission for the Turner Prize 2017 in the Ferens Art Gallery, Kingston upon Hull, northern England on September 25, 2017.

Zanzibar-born artist Lubaina Himid won Britain's prestigious Turner Prize on Tuesday for artworks that tackle the legacy of colonialism and celebrate the people of the African diaspora.

Himid is the first black woman to win the prize, as well as the oldest-ever winner, at 63.

The Preston, England-based artist was awarded the 25,000-pound ($34,000) prize at a ceremony in the English city of Hull.

The judges praised Himid's "uncompromising" approach to issues such as racism along with her "expansive and exuberant approach to painting, which combines satire and a sense of theater."

Her works include "Naming the Money ," an installation of 100 brightly colored life-size figures representing slaves at 18th-century European royal courts, each given their own identity, story and skill.

Founded in 1984, the Turner Prize goes to a U.K.-based artist and often sparks debate about the value of modern art.

The prize is famous for launching the careers of Damien Hirst and other members of the "Young British Artists" generation. Previous winners include potter Grayson Perry and "12 Years a Slave" director Steve McQueen.

This year organizers removed an upper age limit of 50 for nominees.

Himid beat British painter Hurvin Anderson, whose images often draw on his Caribbean heritage; German-born multidisciplinary artist Andrea Buttner; and Palestinian-English artist Rosalind Nashashibi.

Works by all four finalists are on display at the Ferens Art Gallery in Hull until Jan. 7.

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