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Hew Locke | Guyana

Born in 1959 in Edimbourg, UK,
Lived in Georgetown, Guyana (1966-1980, now lives and works in London, UK.
The artist’s website
Hew Locke is represented by Hales Gallery

Hew 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, and 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.

Graduated in fine arts in Falmouth (1988), he holds a MFA in sculpture from the Royal College of Art of London, UK (1994).

Individual shows by Hew Locke

Starchitect at ArtSway in Hampshire, UK (2011) ; The Nameless at the Hales Gallery in London, UK (2010) ; The Kingdom of the Blind at the Rivington Place of London, UK – HQ of the inIVA & of Autograph ABP (2008) ; How do you want me at the Hales Gallery in London, UK (2008) ; Restoration in the church St Thomas the Martyr in Bristol, UK ; Hew Locke at the New Art Gallery in Walsall, UK and Natives and Colonials at the Hales Gallery in London, UK (2005) ; House of Cards at the Luckman Gallery, University of California and at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, USA (2004) ; The Cardboard Palace at the Chisenhale Gallery in London, UK (2002) and Hemmed in Two at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, UK (2000).

Collective exhibitions

Caribbean : Crossroads of the World at El Museo del Barrio in New York (2012) ; Who More Sci-Fi Than Us at the Kunsthal KadE in Amersfoort, The Netherlands (2012) ; The Queen : Art & Image – travelling show ending in the National Portrait Gallery of London, UK (2012) ; Focus on the the Global Caribbean Landscape at the Fondation Clément in Martinique (2012), at the Little Haïti Cultural Center in Miami (2011), at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Puerto Rico (2010) and in France, in Sète at the MIAM – Musée International des Arts Modestes (2009) ; For Those in Peril on the Sea at the Folkestone Triennial (2011) ; Adaptation at the Power Plant gallery in Toronto, Canada and Holy Toy at the Sølvberget Galleri in Stavanger, Norway (2010) ; Second Lives : Remixing the Ordinary at the MAD, Museum of Arts & Design in New York (2008) ; Infinite Island: Contemporary Caribbean Art at the Brooklyn Museum in New York (2007-2008) and Hew Locke & Diana Cooper at the Drawing Room in London, UK – that travelled to Cardiff & Leicester (2004-2005).


Hew Locke participated in the 55th Venice Biennial in the Glasstress, White Light/White Heat exhibition in 2013 ; in the Prome Encuentro Bienal Arte Contemporaneo di Caribe Aruba in 2011-2012 ; in the Folkestone Triennial and in the 54th Venice Biennial in 2011 in the New Forest Pavillion with Starchitect ; in the 2d Biennial of Contemporary Art Contemporain of Thessalonique, Greece and in the 2d Trienal Poli/grafica de San Juan, Puerto Rico – both in 2009 ; in the Triennial of Guangzhou (2008) and in the Biennial of Valencia (2007).

The artist realized an special intervention on site on the façade of the Tate Britain in 2004 where his piece King Creole had been installed.


Hew Locke’s artworks are contained in the collections of the following institutions : Tate Gallery, Council of Arts of the UK, Brooklyn Museum in New York,  Miami Art Museum, British Government Art Collection, RISD Museum in Rhode Island, British Museum, and in the private collection Eileen and Peter Norton or Arnold Lehman Collection.


Hew Locke won the prize Paul Hamlyn and the East International Award in 2000.

Artworks by the artist

Hew Locke | Pan

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Hew Locke | The Nameless

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Hew Locke | Demeter

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Hew Locke | Kingdom of the Blind #10

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Hew Locke | Throne of Blood

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