Lubaina Himid! Many, many congratulations to Lubaina. As a student, Lubaina influenced how I saw my own work in a world seemingly dominated by men more interested in their own practises. After one conversation with her, I remember struggling with a right handed video camera, the size of a ghetto blaster, to record lines of light shining into a large cardboard box, from inside the box! An experience which went on to inform my final piece for the Fine Art degree. Lubaina also spotted that I think 3 dimensionally, something that changed how I saw my practise as an artist and later as a project manager. To me that includes being able to keep an overview without loosing sight of the detail or conversely keeping an eye on the detail without loosing the overview. This didn't change the way I worked but endorsed that my approach, although different was valid.
Later when Lubaina became Professor of Contemporary Art, I went along to the opening of her new gallery space underneath her offices in Preston. The exhibition, called "Plan B" if I remember correctly, was a statistical representation of the new space and a record her life journey to that point. I was astonished to see an Ordnance Survey map of Blackpool marked near where I lived as a child. Apparently not only had Lubaina been a neighbour but, I found out as I explored the exhibition, we were born in the same year. Very few students in my peer group had the opportunity to discuss progress with Lubaina, we were quite low down in the order of things but I will always be grateful for her honest feedback and her astute observations. I'm so proud Lubaina is this year's Turner Prize Winner - huge congratulations to her!