For several years now, Marcus Harvey has in his work explored the notion of Britishness–from Thatcher to Tony Blair, as well as Nelson and Empire, but also lower-brow symbols, from tattoos, to junk-shop knick-knacks.
Often, these ideas are amalgamated in his extraordinary bronze sculptures as if a magnetic centrifugal force has pulled together busts of Thatcher, policeman's helmets, Britannia, galleons and other maritime bric-a-brac. The result is a series of powerful, humorous three-dimensional state-of-the-nation collages.
Harvey is an observer, not a judge. 'I am ordering the imagery according to what is unfolding in terms of topical debate. People will read the extreme sentiment into it. It's a nagging theme to me that I mean to explore–artists don't conclude. Politicians and philosophers conclude.'
Harvey's work is held in collections around the world, including the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Damien Hirst's Murder Me Collection, UK; Burger Collection, Hong Kong; the British Council, London; and the Saatchi Collections, London. In 2016 a mayor solo exhibition of Marcus Harvey's work was held at Jerwood Gallery, Hastings, UK.