Hew Locke: The Procession


‘The Procession’ is the labour of love created by Edinburgh born and Guyana raised sculptor, painter and photographer Hew Locke. Hew invites you to walk alongside The Procession where almost 150 life size unique figures stretch the full length of the gallery. Each figure making their own prominent statements and all telling their own story as they bang their drums, carry flags in their Dogon style masks down the Duveen galleries right through the Sackler Octagon. The hand sewn costumes of each reveller highlights a history of exploitation. The figures quite literally carry historical and cultural baggage -from porcelain busts of British monarchs to trunks embellished with Jamaican and Nigerian milling rights dating back to enslavement.

Hews’ sculptures in ‘The Procession’ are adorned with fabrics depicting significant imagery of enslavement and colonial oppression -a reoccurring theme throughout the installation. When speaking on this collection of works, Locke mentioned that ‘The Procession’ “makes links with the historical after-effects of the sugar business, almost drawing out of the walls of the building” – making reference to the Tate gallery which was founded by Henry Tate of ‘Tate and Lyle’ who in many ways was connected to and benefitted from enslavement.

There are clear markers on the ground which prevent you form getting too close, but the commission is absolutely incredible and can be enjoyed from a number of different angles. Give yourself some time to absorb this exhibition. Each individual sculpture in the procession gives the opportunity to discover so many well thought out and hidden gems if given the chance.


Tate Britain, Millbank, London SW1P 4RG
The following transport lines have routes that pass near Tate Britain Art Gallery:

Tube: Pimlico
Bus: 2, 36, 87, C10
Train: Victoria


Tate Britain is open 7 days a week from 10:00-18:00.
The Hew Locke commission will remain in the Duveen Galleries until January 2023.

How much?

This incredible commission is included in the Tate Britain Collection ticket. Entry to the collection is free for everyone although booking in advance is recommended, tickets may be available for “purchase” at the door. Tate requests timed tickets or membership cards to enter the main gallery for both the free collection and paid exhibitions.


  • Tate Britain has step free entry with ramps and lift access to main gallery floors
  • The Auditorium and Manton studio spaces are fitted with hearing loops
  • Tate Britain has an open breastfeeding policy, parents have the freedom to breastfeed wherever they feel comfortable
  • Baby changing facilities are available on the lower floor
  • Buggies are allowed in all spaces of the galleries


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