Oriel Mostyn, Llandudno, Wales 1999

This is a series of paintings about a series of journeys.

Zanzibar – detail. Painting by Lubaina Himid

The first was the journey I made from Zanzibar to England in 1954 with my mother after the death of my father; he was 33 and I was 4 months old, my mother was 26.

The second was the years I spent painting works that were and were not Zanzibar.

The third was a visit I made in 1997 with Maud Sulter when I discovered that I had been painting the place, the sound and the memory of the island all along.

The fourth journey was the painting of the series itself, an exercise in speed, daring, calm and panic. I listened to a great deal of music a combination of whatever Radio 3 had to offer and a careful selection of CDs, mostly women singing, trying to remember and to sooth.

There are paintings of cloves, of rain, of closed shutters; there are paintings of the sea, fishing nets, death from malaria and of course women’s tears.

Zanzibar – Mostyn Gallery
Zanzibar – Mostyn Gallery
Zanzibar - Mostyn Gallery Installation
Zanzibar – Mostyn Gallery Installation