WALSALL, UK.- The New Art Gallery Walsall presents a solo exhibition by Hew Locke, on view through June 26, 2005. Hew Locke is well known for his architectural constructions such as Cardboard Palace which draw upon a wide range of influences such as Baroque, Rococo, Hindu and Islamic architecture, art of the carnival and the fairground and cumfa, the local form of voodoo in British Guyana where Locke grew up. Hew is also fascinated by the British Royal Family and has created a whole series of works on this theme ranging from drawings and watercolours to huge, vibrantly coloured sculptures created from plastic toys, cake decorations, sequins, artificial flowers and other items sourced from markets and pound shops. As a child, Hew remembers images of the Queen being printed on every exercise book. No child was allowed to deface the image. Such memories have prompted an epic exploration of the Royals as iconic signs of status, history and culture.
Hew Lockes exhibition at The New Art Gallery Walsall will provide possibly the final opportunity to re-visit the epic architectural sculpture, Cardboard Palace, originally commissioned by Chisenhale Gallery in 2002. Also on show will be King Creole, which was shown at Tate Britain as part of British Art Week. This enormous and extravagant sculpture features the coat of arms of the Houses of Parliament emblazoned with a skull and cross bones, festooned with artificial flowers. The work will occupy the full height of Walsalls galleries. Continuing the theme of coats of arms, there will also be an opportunity to view Evil to him that Thinks Evil, originally shown at Atlanta in 2004. These works will be accompanied by various works related to the Royal Family, including Jungle Queen, which was purchased for The New Art Gallerys Collection by the Contemporary Art Society as part of the Special Collections Scheme. Hew will also be creating a brand new photographic work for The New Art Gallery Walsall's Window Box.
This project has been supported by the Walsall MBC, Arts Council, Henry Moore Foundation and the Elephant Trust. Hew Locke is represented by Hales Gallery, London.