#ArtThursdays: Hew Locke: The Procession - Tate Britain Commission
For this week's #ArtThursday we headed over to Tate Britain and had a look at Hew Locke's The Procession for the 2022 Tate Britain Commission.
Hew Donald Joseph Locke (born 13 October 1959) is a British sculptor and contemporary visual artist based in Brixton, London. In 2000 he won a Paul Hamlyn Award and the EASTinternational Award.
A procession is what you could call "the of the cycle of life; people gather and move together to celebrate, worship, protest, mourn, escape or even to better themselves." Locke perfectly demonstrates this in his work of The Procession.
The Procession invites visitors to ‘reflect on the cycles of history, and the ebb and flow of cultures, people and finance and power.’
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.
Tate Britain’s founder was art lover and sugar refining magnate Henry Tate.
There were over 140 life sized sculptures, reflecting on the cycles of history and culture. Here, visitors get to see figures who travel through time and space. "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 figures are inviting. Almost asking 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
In a procession, people experience many similar experiences and elements of life. Everyone is able to come together to celebrate, worship, protest, mourn, escape or to better themselves. Hew Locke's procession helps to bring all those everyday elements together. They come together to bring 'new meanings and sensations'.