Hew Locke builds on architectural past with Starchitect installation at Artsway in Hampshire

By Mark Sheerin | 10 March 2011
Colour photo of an artist buried in an elaborate costume covered in decorative objects
Throne of Blood, C-type photograph, courtesy of Hales Gallery© the artist
Exhibition: Hew Locke – Starchitect, ArtSway, Hampshire, until April 3 2011

Coming seven years after previous architectural installation Cardboard Palace, it is intriguing to think what Locke will reference with his new plywood structure in the New Forest.

The 2002 piece drew from Caribbean vernacular architecture, Rococo, Islamic and Rajput architecture, sacred architecture, and Victorian carousels and funfairs.

This time, Locke has a range of famous "starchitects" to choose from. But he describes the new sculpture as a rambling-dreamlike structure, which does call to mind an iconic piece of celebrity architecture, Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum Bilbao.

Like some award-winning museum, the new installation pits art against architecture Locke has populated his enclosure with guns, swords, dolls and costume. Paintings on share certificates also perhaps bring to mind prevailing economic structures.

In building a gallery within a gallery, Locke is effectively doing three jobs at once: those of curator, architect and artist. Signs of megalomania are no doubt intentional. That is probably a prerequisite for being a starchitect.

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