Hew Locke (b. Edinburgh, UK, 1959) spent his formative years (1966-1980) in Guyana before returning to the UK to complete an MA in sculpture at the Royal College of Art (1994).
Locke explores the subject of power, particularly through the representation of royal portraiture, coats-of-arms, public statuary, trophies, company share certificates, weaponry and costume. In his early works, Locke began to see the Royal Family, specifically the Queen's official portrait, as a vehicle through which he confronted and evaluated his experiences of growing up. With this subject, his work began to engage with the embodiment of power, building amalgamations between different cultures and colonial histories.
Successfully merging influences from both Guyanese and British cultures, Locke delves deeply into the history behind the subject matters and objects involved in his works. Unifying this knowledge with his creative vision, he creates pieces that stand on a crossroad of cultures, mediums and historic references.
Locke’s works have been included in The Folkestone Triennial (2011), the 54th and 55th Venice Biennale (2011, 2013), Deptford X (2012, participating artist curator) and Prospect New Orleans Contemporary Art Biennial, New Orleans, LA, USA (2014).
Selected shows include National Portrait Gallery (London), El Museo de Bario (New York), Fondation Clément (Martinique), the Bell House (Prague), Kunsthal KAdE (Netherlands), Tate Britain (London), V&A Museum (London), the New Art Gallery (Walsall), Rivington Place (London), the Bluecoat Gallery (Liverpool), the British Museum (London), the New Art Exchange (Nottingham), the Luckman Gallery (LA), the New York Museum of Art and Design (New York), Atlanta Contemporary Arts (US), the Brooklyn Museum (New York), and Perez Art Museum Miami (FL, USA). In 2010, Locke's work, Sikandar, was shortlisted for the Fourth Plinth, Trafalgar Square (London).
Locke's work is represented in many collections including the Government Art Collection (UK), Miami Art Museum (US), Tate Gallery (UK), the Arts Council of England (UK), the Collection of Eileen and Peter Norton (US), the Brooklyn Museum (New York), the Arnold Lehman Collection (US), the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art (US), Kansas City Collection (US), the RSID Museum (Rhode Island), the New Art Gallery (Walsall), Victoria & Albert Museum Drawing Collection (London), the British Museum (London) and the Henry Moore Institute (Leeds).