Hew Locke: Here’s the Thing

On February 20, 2020, London-based artist Hew Locke offered a talk at the Colby College Museum of Art for the opening of Here’s the Thing, the most comprehensive exhibition of his work to date. Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1959, but raised in Guyana—a British colony until 1970—Locke often sailed between the UK and South America during his childhood. Across a wide range of media, he considers the maritime vectors of mercantilism, colonialism, post-colonialism, migration, and diaspora. Within his nautical imaginary, Locke reconfigures iconographies of nationhood, and in particular, the military. By his own account, he is “making global links between people on the sea,” and his artwork is as historically freighted as it is contemporaneously charged.