Hew Locke

Talk Art series 13 continues!!! We meet British sculptor and contemporary visual artist Hew Locke. The artist shares the inspiration behind his decades of work and reflects on the process of making his new and exciting large-scale installation 2022 Tate Britain Commission, The Procession.


A procession is part and parcel of the cycle of life; people gather and move together to celebrate, worship, protest, mourn, escape or even to better themselves. This is the heart of this ambitious new project. The Procession invites visitors to ‘reflect on the cycles of history, and the ebb and flow of cultures, people and finance and power.’ Tate Britain’s founder was art lover and sugar refining magnate Henry Tate. In the installation Locke says he ‘makes links with the historical after-effects of the sugar business, almost drawing out of the walls of the building,’ also revisiting his artistic journey so far, including for example work with statues, share certificates, cardboard, rising sea levels, Carnival and the military.


Throughout, visitors will see figures who travel through space and time. Here, they carry historical and cultural baggage, from evidence of global financial and violent colonial control embellished on their clothes and banners, alongside powerful images of some of the disappearing colonial architecture of Locke’s childhood in Guyana.


The installation takes inspiration from real events and histories but overall, the figures invite us to walk alongside them, into an enlarged vision of an imagined future.

"What I try to do in my work is mix ideas of attraction and ideas of discomfort – colourful and attractive, but strangely, scarily surreal at the same time." Hew Locke.


Locke was born in Edinburgh, UK, in 1959; lived from 1966 to 1980 in Georgetown, Guyana; and is currently based in London.  He obtained a B.A. Fine Art in Falmouth (1988) and an M.A. Sculpture at the Royal College of Art, London (1994). In 2000 he won both a Paul Hamlyn Award and an East International Award.

His work is represented in many collections including those of the The Government Art Collection, The Pérez Art Museum Miami, The Tate Gallery, The Arts Council of England, The National Trust, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The Brooklyn Museum, New York, 21c, The New Art Gallery Walsall, The Victoria & Albert Museum, The Imperial War Museum, The British Museum and The Henry Moore Institute, Leeds.


Follow @HewDJLocke on Instagram and visit his official website: http://www.hewlocke.net/

Visit his galleries PPOW Gallery in New York and Hales Gallery in London. Learn more about his new installation at Tate, it's free to visit until 22nd January 2023: https://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-britain/hew-locke


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