Hew Locke is a Guyanese-British sculptor and contemporary artist. Born in Edinburgh in 1959, he spent his formative years (1966-80) in Guyana before returning to the UK with an ambition to study art. He completed a BA at Falmouth School of Art in 1988 and an MA in sculpture at the Royal College of Art in 1994.
Locke explores the visual language of power, how different nations fashion their identities through visual symbols of authority, and how these representations are altered by the passage of time. These explorations have led Locke to a wide range of subject matters, imagery and media, assembling sources across time and space in his deeply layered artworks.
In March 2022 his Duveen Hall Commission for Tate Britain, The Procession, was unveiled, and in September 2022 his work Gilt will be unveiled as the Façade Commission for The Metropolitan Museum and Art Gallery in New York. In 2015 Prince William dedicated Locke’s public sculpture The Jurors, commissioned to commemorate 800 years since the signing of Magna Carta.
“I have become fascinated with dynamics of the art world I am a part of – how to operate successfully within it. I could be asking the art world ‘What is it that you want me to do? ‘ – and the answer may be ‘Nothing – go away’!” The last piece Locke made was Serpent of the Nile (right), the only female character.u’re compelled to face.”Hew Locke