The next chapter – Making Histories Visible is changing again

Making Histories Visible is changing again. Since 2002 we have tried to be at the centre of the attempt to rewrite the history of art. 

To begin with we simply collected materials together rather than throw them away! 

Then we put things in order by collating, labelling and categorizing. We had boxes of letters, brochures, press releases and invitation cards. We had shelves full of catalogues, novels, poetry, political statements, policy papers. Our spaces had plan- chests containing posters and the start of a vinyl collection.

During the past 20 years many people have visited us, spending days at a time in the old house we used to have at the edge of the campus and more recently the new rooms on in the art and design buildings at UClan sharing and enjoying many treasures such as signed copies of a Zanele Muholi catalogue, a signed edition of a Langston Hughes play script and hard or soft backed copies of Passion by Maud Sulter. 

We have welcomed staff and students from numerous courses at UCLan but also artists, curators, funders, historians and art history PhD candidates as well as zine makers. Community groups, musicians, film-makers and political activists from all over the world have included our materials in their projects. 

We moved into being at the centre of debates around curatorial practice once we had worked with Tate Britain to make Thin Black Line(s) in 2011. Then Christine Eyene artistic director of the Casablanca Biennale and curator of ground-making exhibitions such as Sounds Like Her, Where We’re At and Resist! The 1960s Protests, Photography and Visual Legacy. She began her role as Guild Research Fellow in 2013. 

In 2018 Dr Zoe Whitley (Instagram @zoe.whitley) co-curator of the Tate Modern exhibition Soul of a Nation co-curator of the V&A exhibition Uncomfortable Truths currently director at Chisenhale Gallery in London completed her PhD research at UCLan. All three have become leading voices in discussions about curating the black voice and image. 

Zoe Whitley, Christine Eyene and Lubaina Himid ( and Instagram @lubainapics) continue to stretch and push the curatorial landscape even though they are no longer at UCLan. As a result, Making Histories Visible will find its way into the lives of artists and art objects in a different way. Just keep in touch with their projects via the links provided – it’s exciting!

The small collection of artworks by Sonia Boyce, Maud Sulter, Claudette Johnson, Jeanne Moutoussamy Ashe, Ajamu and Chris Ofili and Ingrid Pollard are available for exhibition.

The books and catalogues will still be available to view in Preston at The Birley Studios (by appointment)  

The original materials will be acquired by an archive in London once the necessary committees have approved the donation. 

We will continue to let you know the interesting events and exhibitions that are happening all over the place -just follow our blog and our Twitter account @MHVArchive or contact Lubaina Himid here and on Instagram @lubainapics 

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