A procession is part and parcel of the cycle of life; people gather and move together to celebrate, worship, protest, mourn, escape or even to better themselves. This is the heart of Hew Locke’s ambitious new project, The Procession, commissioned by Tate and originally presented in Tate Britain.
The Procession invites visitors to ‘reflect on the cycles of history, and the ebb and flow of cultures, people and finance and power.’ In the installation Locke says he ‘makes links with the historical after-effects of the sugar business, and revisits his artistic journey so far, including for example work with statues, share certificates, cardboard, rising sea levels, Carnival and the military.
Throughout, visitors will see figures who travel through space and time. Here, they carry historical and cultural baggage, from evidence of global financial and violent colonial control embellished on their clothes and banners, alongside powerful images of some of the disappearing colonial architecture of Locke’s childhood in Guyana. The installation takes inspiration from real events and histories but overall, the figures invite us to walk alongside them, into an enlarged vision of an imagined future.
Initiated and produced by Tate and curated by Elena Crippa, Senior Curator, Modern and Contemporary British Art and Clarrie Wallis, former Senior Curator, Contemporary British Art with Bilal Akkouche, Assistant Curator, Contemporary British Art, Hannah Marsh, Curatorial Assistant and Dana Moreno, Curatorial Administrator