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A Visual Story: Hew Locke, The Procession

Find out what to expect when visiting Hew Locke: The Procession, with this Visual Story guide - a guide with words and pictures. It is sometimes called a Social Narrative.

Colourful procession of figures with banners
Installation view of Hew Locke The Procession 2022 at Tate Britain (22 March 2022 – 22 January 2023). Photo © Tate (Joe Humphrys)

This exhibition is open Wednesday to Sunday, from 10am to 6pm. You can drop-in for free anytime during our opening hours.

If you have any questions or would like to chat about your visit before coming, you can email us on [javascript protected email address] or call us on 0191 478 1810.

Exhibition entrance
  • You can take the stairs or the lift to this exhibition.
  • As you approach this exhibition on the Fourth Floor, you will encounter a large wall graphic, the title of this exhibition 'Hew Locke: The Procession' and below it some more information about the exhibition inside. As you enter the gallery the lighting will appear bright.
  • On the left side of the entrance, there will be a portrait screen displaying exhibition access information. Please feel free to read. The Procession is an exhibition that explores ideas of colonialism, history, culture and power.
Procession of figures
  • As you enter the exhibition you will encounter a colourful crowd of sculptures that appear to be figures mostly facing towards the entrance of the gallery.
  • There will be a Baltic Crew member in the gallery, you might see them at the back of the gallery, they are there to help and assist you with any questions.
  • The figures appear humanlike in scale and might be the same height as you. Many of the figures have masks with expressive faces and have facial features like eyes,  a nose and a mouth. There are 140 human-like figures and 5 horse sculptures.
  • They are not real, they do not move or create noise and most of the figures in the procession are made from cardboard and are fixed to a wooden base.
  • You may notice floor tape surrounding the exhibition please do not cross this line. This is to keep you and the artwork safe. You can walk alongside the Procession.
ocke The Procession at Baltic Gateshead
  • The figures at the front of the crowd are smaller in scale, and appear to be the height of a child. Some of these smaller sculptures are holding musical instruments.
  • As you travel further into the gallery you may notice figures with veils dressed in mesh and lace clothing.
  • You may notice that some of the figures have animal-like faces with masks painted in bright colours with elaborately printed carnival costumes.
  • Some of the figures you encounter are holding textile banners made from patchwork pieces of material. You may notice the banners have words and phrases from certificates, documents and maps that the artist has embroidered and painted.
Hew Locke The Procession 2023
  • There is also a patchwork animal which resembles a horse made from brightly coloured and assorted textiles. A  character with a green face sits on top and is decorated with fake flowers wearing a white shirt facing out towards the entrance of the gallery.
  • Further into the gallery a figure in the middle of the procession appears to be floating above the ground wearing a voluminous outfit and a headdress.
  • You may notice that many of the figures are wearing familiar clothes including blazers, shirts, shoes, waistcoats and trousers. Some are wearing uniforms inspired by naval staff and soldiers with gold badges, medals and awards.
ocke The Procession at Baltic Gateshead
  • Further into the gallery some of the figures are holding and waving textile flags and banners into the air, they may move as you travel round the space.
  • Many of the figures have extravagant headdresses and masks which are heavily decorated with beads and pearls that hang from their faces. Other figures are decorated with rope or fake flowers.
  • Further into the gallery the figures are dressed in black hooded cloaks and appear to be gripping and carrying a wooden sculpture with a figure sat in the centre. They appear life-like with detailed facial features with intricate floral and star patterns around their faces.
  • The figure above the ground is wearing a gold mask and an elaborate cloak with illustrations, lace and fake flowers decorating it.
Procession of figures
  • Further into the gallery figures are dressed in red hoodies and matching trousers holding large cloth banners in the air which feature photographs of boats and buildings with colourful backgrounds and shapes.
  • The figures dressed in black suits displaying the fabric banners have muddy tide marks and dirt on their clothing up their trouser legs.
  • Towards the back of the gallery characters are dressed in tattered colourful pieces of cloth that hang off their arms and bodies.
  • You may notice that two characters hold a wooden slack with a box suspended from it, a cast of a face sits in the box.
Procession of figures
  • Once you are ready to leave this gallery, head back and exit the same way you entered.