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HEW LOCKE

Dream Queen

Dream Queen 2005 watercolour 160 x116 cm

House of Windsor - drawings and paintings (ongoing series)
1998 - present
Various media
Royalty
See also House of Windsor - reliefs, House of Windsor - cardboard, and Sovereign State

Locke is fascinated by how different cultures invent themselves and select their symbols of nationhood.  The glamour and power of Britannia is represented everywhere, on stamps, coins and portraits, by an image of the Queen's head. House of Windsor has developed over the years, moving away from portraits depicting a whole range of royal family members and their individual aspects, to concentrating on official images of Queen alone.  The Queen's face is a frame on which he hangs, both figeratively and literally, his ideas.  Of course, this is the case for everyone not a family member or close friend. It is well known that royal family jokily refers to itself as 'The Firm'.

Immortal was made about a year before the Queen Mother died, by which time she was so elderly she seemed to be deathless. In Britain she was seen by many as being beyond reproach, essentially untouchable. The image also refers to medieval and renaissance imagery of royalty depicted with skulls or skeletons - a reminder that in the midst of life we are in death. For example, The Rainbow Portrait (c.1600) portrays Elizabeth I as an all seeing ruler with a dress covered in eyes and ears.  Despite being in her late 60's when this portrait was made, she is depicted as an ageless godess.

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Immortal  Island Queen

Immortal  2001, pastel and charcoal, 38 x 32cm                                   Island Queen  2003, pastel and charcoal, 76 x 64cm

 
All images © Hew Locke & DACS unless otherwise indicated