Hew Locke: Foreign Exchange
From 14 June 2022, Birmingham’s city-centre sculpture of Queen Victoria in Victoria Square is reimagined by acclaimed Guyanese-British artist Hew Locke, presented by Birmingham 2022 Festival.
Originally unveiled in 1901, Sir Thomas Brock’s marble figure of Queen Victoria was then recast in bronze by William Bloye and members of Birmingham School of Art in 1951. Locke’s vision is to create “an object of veneration, leading a battalion of other statues to represent the home nation throughout the Empire.”
Locke’s interest in the power of statues originates from his childhood in Guyana where he passed a sculpture of Queen Victoria every day on the way to school. He has been reimagining historical statues for twenty years. Commissioned by Ikon, this is Locke’s first temporary public sculpture.
Ikon presented a major exhibition by Hew Locke, Here’s The Thing, in 2019.
The Birmingham 2022 Festival has announced its six-month long cultural programme taking place across Birmingham and the West Midlands from March – September 2022. It will be the biggest celebration of creativity ever seen in the region and one of the largest ever cultural programmes to surround the Commonwealth Games. Find out more.
Image: Hew Locke, Hinterland (2013). Acrylic paint, ink and pen on c-type photograph. Courtesy Hales Gallery, London & New York. Photography by Charles Littlewood.