'A Year with MI6'
As part of the centenary celebrations of the Secret Intelligence
Service, also known as MI6, artist James Hart Dyke was invited to
record their work in a series of paintings and sketches. This
unique project saw James working closely with SIS for a year, both
in the UK and abroad. Given the sensitivity of the work, James had
to observe the need for secrecy and his access to SIS was carefully
controlled. Whilst the paintings do not identify actual officers,
agents, operations, or actual events*, James managed to produce a
series of images illustrating this unusual and secretive world.
This commercial exhibition, which runs from 15-27 February 2011,
is entitled; "A Year with MI6" and is being
held at Mount Street Galleries, 94 Mount Street, Mayfair, London
It comprises 40 oil paintings and many sketches and studies.
Through them, James has conveyed aspects of SIS's daily life. The
images range from simple renderings of places to more interpretive
works. Using oil paints on canvas, he has created paintings that
combine abstraction and reality.
Giving his reaction to this commission, James said;
"This project has been the most exciting and challenging I
have ever undertaken. To have been given the kind of access to MI6
I have been allowed has been an amazing privilege which most people
can only dream of. My paintings attempt to portray a sense of
everyday life for those working in SIS which is essentially about
building relations with people. I've respected the need to keep
identities secret and the people shown don't represent the real men
and women I have met."
James Hart Dyke has not been paid by SIS for producing this
artwork; the artist will recieve payment through the sale of the
artwork and he will donate a percentage of the profits to
Prices range from £950 for the sketches up to £25,000 for the
largest of the oil paintings.
*Two images depict Second World War agents from published
A selection of the Paintings showing at the exhibition;
Battersea Power Station
Going for a meeting
Street scene in Kabul
Early morning view over Kabul
Waiting in the hotel room