Hales is excited to announce that Birmingham Museums has acquired a sculpture by Hew Locke for the city’s collection. Made in 2019, Souvenir 9 (Queen Victoria) is the first work by the artist to be acquired for the city.
Toby Watley, Director of Collections at Birmingham Museums Trust says: “We are delighted to have been able to acquire this piece by Hew Locke for the city. Birmingham Museums Trust is committed to acquiring work by groundbreaking artists and creative practitioners that builds on the strengths of Birmingham’s nationally and internationally significant collection. One of the themes we’re exploring in our research and collecting is the relationship between Victorian art and design and Empire, and how contemporary artists and makers of colour are engaging with 19th-century objects and their histories in their own work. Souvenir 9 (Queen Victoria) is an exciting addition to the city’s collection and will enable new perspectives on Birmingham’s historic ceramics and sculpture.”
To coincide with the acquisition, a free event with artists Hew Locke and Matt Smith will explore commemorating and contesting Empire with Victorian ceramics, discussing the ways they have responded to 19th-century ceramics in their own work. The conversation between the two leading contemporary artists will be chaired by Dr Sadiah Qureshi, Senior Lecturer in Modern History at the University of Birmingham, who is a cultural and social historian of race, science and empire in the modern world.
In conversation: Hew Locke and Matt Smith | Commemorating and Contesting Empire with Victorian Ceramics | Chaired by Dr Sadiah Qureshi
Watch the discussion here.