Procession by Huw Locke


Every year The Tate Britain commission an Artist to make a piece for the Duveen Gallery, in 2020 (just before the lockdown) Steve Mcqueen filled the gallery walls with pictures of year 3 classes from across London, this served to give us a glimpse into the future of our capital city. It was really interesting looking at the differences between the classes, differences in school uniform, the formality of the classroom, the race of the students, there were home schooled students, referral units, SEN classes, 34 students in one class, 15 in another, so on and so forth, a sea of 7- and 8-year-old faces flooding the gallery.

This year Hew Locke created his own response to the monumental task and produced Procession. The procession speaks to the many processions we all experience throughout our life, as well as the procession of history – the idea that history is one long procession – a procession of pain, loss, joy, triumph, defeat, birth, life, death, rebirth, continuation. This in turn made me think of Maslow, he adapted the triangle of needs from the Blackfoot Tribe, they originally theorised that we do not reach our full potential through self-actualisation as Maslow said but rather through, ‘cultural perpetuity’ which is the, ‘understanding that you have a part to play in ensuring that the important teachings of your culture live beyond you.’ 

I related the idea to the recent death of the Queen – how her reign only began with the death of her own father and how her own death signifies the beginning of her sons reign, funeral processions are shortly followed by coronations “The Queen is dead, Long live the King” —

Excerpt from Campo dei Fiori by  Czeslaw Milosz

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