A Year with MI6 - Art Exhibition

'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 W1K 2SZ.

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 charity.

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 photographs

A selection of the Paintings showing at the exhibition;


Battersea Power Station




Entrance hall


Line drawing


Mansfield CUMMING


Going for a meeting




Street scene in Kabul


Early morning view over Kabul


The HQ


Waiting in the hotel room