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golden Horde at the ICA

All photos this page by Marcus Leith, Courtesy the artist and the ICA Gallery, London, 2009

Golden Horde
2006   Seven pieces of various sizes.  Maximum hieght 273cm, length 253 cm, width 200cm
Mixed media including plastic, metal, textile & wood
Boats  Soldiers   Treasury

Commissioned by ICA and inIVA

"Golden Horde draws on years of visiting cathedral, palace and museum treasuries or hordes. I have often drawn in the Gilt and Silver Rooms at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. This gallery is filled with trophies, awards and religious reliquaries, and these type of items have fascinated me for a long time. I am particularly interested in the Nef, a table-setting of gold or silver in the form of a boat, sometimes combined with a nautilus shell. These are usually salt cellars, and it is interesting to look back to a time to when certain resources were so exotic and precious that you would commission an incredible setting to display them. Coconut shells were treated in the same way, and made into precious goblets. Today you can buy nautilus shells cheaply in any beach resort around the world.  

"All that glitters is not gold. The objects used in this work are trying to imitate another, more precious material. They are trying to give an impression of wealth and riches patently non-existent. The original Golden Horde was one of the Mongol armies descended from Genghis Khan. The influx of illegal immigrants or asylum seekers from Africa to Europe has created for many a mental image of an invading force. These warrior-babies are aggressive yet desperate to reach a positive shore, where they will be welcomed and happy. Get rich or die trying." - Hew Locke  


detail of Golden Horde

Golden HordeGolden HordeGolden Horde

All images © Hew Locke & ArtImage unless otherwise indicated