The oldest artist ever to win the prize talks about turning Guardian pages into art, being forced out of London, and how she'll be spending the prize money on funding her friends – and buying really fancy shoes
Lubaina Himid is bright-eyed and ferociously on the ball the morning after winning the Turner prize. Perhaps one advantage of being the oldest-ever winner, as the headlines baldly put it (she is 63), is the ability to receive the award with immense, mature poise. As the £25,000 cheque was presented in Hull Minster on Tuesday evening, the Preston-based artist thanked, among others, the art historians who had supported her work “during the wilderness years”; “my mother, for letting me do what I wanted as long as I came home by 10pm”; and “all the people who stopped in the streets of Preston and Hull to wish me luck – it worked”.
Still, she tells me as we talk in the Ferens Gallery, where the Turner-prize exhibition has already received 90,000 visitors as part of Hull's year as UK city of culture, her victory is “bittersweet. I think to myself what I could have done if I'd won it at 40. That would have been good. But I guess there are more things I've got to say now, and it gives me a good opportunity to say them. But there aren't that many years left. Twenty years in front of you is not the same as 63 years behind you.”