Hew Locke’s ‘Armada’ the centre piece of new Tate Liverpool collection exploring global refugee crisis

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The exhibition is intertwined with the history of Liverpool as a “home for so many different communities”.

Hew Locke’s immersive large-scale installation Armada is made up of a flotilla of model boats and rafts and is the centrepiece of a new free collection at Tate Liverpool.

The Port and Migrations exhibition explore themes of colonialism, migration and international exchange and how they are relevant to the history of Liverpool.

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Armada reflects on international trade, the movement of goods and the movement of people, and the current global refugee crisis.

‘Fantastic artists from around the world’

Laura Bruni, Assistant Curator from Tate Liverpool, says: “For the first time ever we have a collection which is very much anchored to the history of where we are; the building, the docks, the history of the city.

“There are so many different communities in Liverpool, and we hope that these two displays feel like they’re representing the city.

“The fact that Liverpool is open to other cultures and it’s home to so many different communities - that’s why we have works the more directly related to colonialism and slavery to open up the conversation.

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“You can see fantastic artists from all around the world. I think that is really impressive.”

What can you expect to see

Highlights include Hew Locke’s Armada 2019, a large-scale flotilla of boats and rafts suspended from the ceiling.

The sailing vessels hold complex and multiple meanings, symbolic of colonial and post-colonial power as well as the artist’s own movement to and from Guyana as a child.

Some feature nets and decorations, while others incorporate jewels, charms, military badges and replica medals from the Caribbean and Syria and elsewhere.

Visitors can expect to see works by artists including Anish Kapoor, Chen Zhen and Piet Mondrian.

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