Greeting visitors to Tate Britain is this large-scale installation by British sculptor and contemporary visual artist Hew Locke entitled, The Procession.
Snaking through the entire length of the main hall, it’s a breathtaking, colourful and thought provoking trawl through imperialism, colonialism and capitalism
The Brixton-based artist said:
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.
The gallery said:
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 Hew Locke’s ambitious new project, 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.’
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.
London SW1P 4RG
Monday to Sunday 10.00–18.00
Admission free – exhibition runs until 22 Jan 2023.