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Naming the Money - catalogue

Catalogue relating to an exhibition, 2004
Published by: Hatton Gallery
Year published: 2004
Number of pages: 39
ISBN: 0-7017-0166-8

image of Naming the Money - catalogue

Naming the Money was a substantial exhibition by Lubaina Himid, held at the Hatton Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne, 17 January - 13 March 2004. It consisted of 100 life size figures, each representing the largely un-named captured Africans who, whilst in effect slaves, were used as servile adornment by wealthy families in Britain and other parts of Europe, during the many years of the slave slave. The exhibition came with this hard cover catalogue, A5 portrait in size, prolifically illustrated, and with substantial supporting texts in the form of correspondence from Himid to the curator, brief summaries of the names and identities that Himid assigned to her 100 figures, and an essay by Lucy Whetstone, Curator, Hatton Gallery.

The flyer for the exhibition carried, on its reverse, a particularly useful introduction to the exhibition, written by Himid herself. “When I began this project I was convinced that it was about money. It has certainly cost a great deal of money to make. It’s true that Naming the Money is about how the moneyed classes all over Europe have spent their loot, flaunted their power and wealth by using Africans as slaves. The installation shows how this was disguised and glamourised; they looked like servants or were dressed in the clothes of courtiers, they often provided the entertainment just by looking different and were at their most useful as the greatest conspicuous display of wealth imaginable.

I also thought this installation was about re iterating (sic) the facts and highlighting the immense contribution that Africans have made to the economic foundation of Europe.”

Catalogue contents as follows:

Page of ten small vignettes (referred to as ‘paperworks’)

First of three letters to Lucy Whetstone, ’Written on a train from London to Preston’

Second page of ten small vignettes (referred to as ‘paperworks’)

Second of three letters to Lucy Whetstone, ’Written on a train from London to Liverpool’

Two-page montage of rectangular images of the installation figures, plus related imagery

Third of three letters to Lucy Whetstone, ’Written on a train from Preston to London’

Twenty pages of the names and summaries of Himid’s 100 figures, ten per page, alternating with page size single colour illustrations of ten of the 100 people.

[One summary read,

“My name is Olusade
They call me Jenny
I used to cure diseases
Now I make the tea
But I am never ill”

One illustration was captioned, ‘My name is Nilla They call me Jenny’]

Essay by Whetstone, ‘Putting a name to the face’, illustrated with small reproductions of historical works depicting Black people in Western painting. Within the text, Whetstone states that, “The people in Naming the Money are in contrast to so many of the black people who populate western painting. The black characters that traditionally appear in so many history paintings, allegorical scenes, stories from the Bible and portraits, are for the most part, nameless. Their role is almost subsidiary. Like Lubaina Himid’s Dancing Master or Dog Trainer, they most frequently appear as servants, the anonymous suporting act to the principle player - the white master.”

Two pages of ‘Balance Sheets’ by the artist, relating to four of her subjects, the Dog Trainer (Addan), the Herbalist (Olusade), the Drummer (Essian), and the Ceramicist (Wiweru).

Two page Lubaina Himid CV


Addendum on the last page of the catalogue - a double-sided page of diary-like recollections, from the artist’s childhood through to then then recent time period of 2003. This page has been glued into the catalogue.

Note: The catalogue has two inserts, photocopies of local press coverage of Himid’s exhibition. The first, ‘Cultured efforts will pay dividends’, from the Evening Chronicle, Monday 12 January 2004, page 2, and another report, from ‘Weekend Times’, of 2 January 2004, ‘History painter’s big challenge’. Page number unknown. Both of these press pieces carried sizeable pictures. The Evening Chronicle piece featured a portrait of then Arts Minister Estelle Morris looking at Himid’s exhibition. The other press report featured a detail of a group of three drummers, part of Himid’s Naming the Money. The caption read, “POST COLONIAL STANDPOINT: some of Lubaina Himid’s figures which will raise questions of identity at the Hatton Gallery, Newcastle”



Related people

»  Lubaina Himid MBE, CBE

Born, 1954 in Zanzibar, Tanzania

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