Sculptures at Home: #1 Lubaina Himid

Sculptures at Home give you a chance to make your own artworks with materials that are commonly found at home. You can make them on your own, or with your family, pals, kids, pets, neighbours or anyone else you might be sharing your home with during these unprecedented times. 

The series will feature some key artists across the ages, looking at different styles and methods. We begin our series with the amazing Lubaina Himid.

photo by Katherine Anne Rose

About the artist:

Himid’s work celebrates Black creativity and the people of the African diaspora. Her artwork sometimes incorporates cut-out life size figures, giving each figure a name and story to rally against the sense of a powerless mass. She uses the material of everyday life, like newspapers or tableware, in order to explore Black identity. 

For this Sculpture at Home, we’ll be giving guidance on how to create a sculpture in a similar style to her seminal work Naming the Money. We encourage you to think of people from your life, heritage, experiences and history to represent in your sculptures. For example, we created a sculpture of one of our favourite NHS worker Luis.

photos by Stuart Whipps (l) and Chatsworth House (r)

How to:

The size of this sculpture is totally dependant on you, you can make them life-size or pocket size, it just depends on the amount of card you have. But please consider your scale or size before you start.

You’ll need:
  • Cardboard
  • Pipe cleaner/wire/stick/double folded cardboard
  • Paint – whatever type you have at home. 
  • A base – it could be anything relatively flat, boxy and sturdy. 
  • Tape – any kind. 
  • Thick pen – or any pen that will show up on the card you’ve chosen. 
  • Pencil, ruler, glue and scissors.

Collect your materials together. Draw a draft version of the figure before you start, you’ll be able to visualise what they will look like and plan your sculpture. 

Draw the outline of your figure on the card with the thick pen or pencil. Paint your figure and bring them to life.

Cut out your figure. Attach your figure to the pipe cleaner, stick, or folded cardboard.

Pierce a hole through your base and attach the wire to the bottom of it and tape it down. If you can’t do that, then just stick the wire or supporting stick to your base with tape.

Ta da! You can add some additional textures and motifs by using newspapers, packaging, loose buttons, or some other items you might find in your recycling bin. We added a trim to Luis’ collar from some crisp packets. Find a spot for your sculpture and encourage others to add to the scene with interpretations and stories of their own.


… a big thank you to Luis and his fellow NHS workers!