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'Gold Standard' by Hew Locke

Date uploaded: August 15, 2012

Gold Standard by Hew Locke

Hew Locke, British artist and 'lead artist-curator' of Deptford X, the contemporary arts festival in south east London, has been commissioned by the festival to produce Gold Standard, a temporary installation on Frankham Street in London. Exhibited at Deptford's Old Tidemill School, Gold Standard will be Locke's largest and most ambitious outdoor project to date.

For several years, Locke has been drawn to the beauty of paper share certificates and banknotes. His Bristol work Ruined drew on their imagery to create a permanent cast-iron public art project.

For Deptford X, Hew Locke has selected, painted and drawn over original share certificates from many different sources. The certificates feature fine engravings of gods and goddesses, happy workers, new technology and fine landscapes. Confident typography and classical motifs imply stability and worth – even though many of these newborn companies may not have started trading when the certificates were issued.

The re-workings in Gold Standard both obscure and highlight information, and whet our appetite to discover more about the companies themselves. Sometimes you can see figures representative of the local population breaking through – silent witnesses who seem to have been excavated from history. These people were, after all, the ones who created the wealth, even though they received no benefit from it.

Deptford X 2012 ran from 27th July to 12th August 2012. Click here for more information.

To visit Hew Locke's website for more information, please click here.

Detail of Gold Standard © Indra Khanna 2012

Detail of Gold Standard © Indra Khanna 2012