Hales and P·P·O·W are pleased to present Mindful Vandalism – a viewing room of works by Hew Locke that brings together the artist’s painted and embellished photographs of public statues, and dressed Parian Ware sculptures. Since 2002, Locke has investigated the symbolic capital that public monuments carry within the landscape of collective memory. His primary subjects have been statues of historical figures with controversial and complex legacies. Locke's interest lies in transforming these problematic monuments into sites of historical revisionism. Taking the form of painterly and sculptural intervention, Locke’s ‘mindful vandalism’ destabilizes these statues’ dominant narratives and ideologies, exposing the latent histories of oppression and exploitation at their core. Colonial figures and royals including Edward VII and Queen Victoria are weighed down in layers of symbols that reference the atrocities, wars, and ill-won riches of Empire, while American founding fathers are dressed in cowrie shells, brass manillas, trade beads and chains that reference the history and legacy of slavery in America.
16 September – 31 October 2020