"We're five minutes from Preston High Street and it's almost silent," says artist and lecturer Lubaina Himid. "It's like a very big village - it was only made a city very recently."

Lubaina guides us round her adoptive city - from the "splendid" Harris Art Gallery which houses some of her own work, to the sweeping landscapes of the parks which run along the River Ribble, and on to her own studio space where so much of her creativity happens.

"The best thing about the city is that it gives you creative space - there's more time than there would be in a city like London. There are a lot of artists in Preston, all of us work hard making and thinking about art...I can't idle away three or four hours gossiping in an art centre because there isn't one!"

Lubaina's father was from Zanzibar and her mother was English. She left Zanzibar as a small child and grew up in London.

Alongside the sense of the city which she creates for us, we also learn about her own creative journey. Lubaina was part of the radical black art movement of the 1980s. Now she curates an archive of black and ethnic minority artists within the University of Central Lancashire.

"My mother was a textile designer, so the possibility of being an artist was always there. But I realised my blackness was an issue - in art college it was a real challenge. For me, teaching in art school is about making it better for the next generation."

There is gladness and regret for Lubaina about having lived in Preston for so long. Regret that she couldn't make living in London work, but gladness that there has been so much time and opportunity for her art to flourish in Preston.

Produced by Rachel Hooper
A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4.

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30 minutes

Last on

Tue 14 Feb 2017 23:30

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