Hackett x Polo 150

Marking the momentous one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the sport being played, Hackett London launches an exhibition that charts the history of UK Army Polo in photographs, monographs and prints curated by Carrie Scott


Hackett x Polo 150
Curated by Carrie Scott

Christie’s London
May 22nd -23rd 2019

To celebrate this historic anniversary and the long-standing partnership between brand and sport, the exhibition includes a wide range of historical content, alongside monumental contemporary fine art prints.  With photographs dating back to as early as the 1900s, showing mounted infantry on donkeys with polo sticks, to compositions from the 1920s showing military officers sitting in the stands at Hurlingham watching one of the first Polo matches between the French Army and Hurlingham, the exhibition captures a thrilling range of the historical content with over 30 objects on view. To further exemplify the cultural importance of the game, the show also includes a heartfelt collection of images of the British Royal Family playing Polo.  Showing the lighter side of the game, one composition pictures Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, competing in a bicycle polo match at Windsor in 1967.  Other photographs capture a more personal side of Charles, Prince of Wales, amused by an incident in a polo match in which his father plays, or kissing the hand of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, after she presented him with a prize at polo.  The exhibition also unearths wonderfully refreshing photos of a young Prince William and Prince Harry playing their own version of Polo as children in the early 90s. We are also honored to debut work by the aclaimeed photographer Slim Aarons that hasn’t been seen since it was first published.


To counter the historical artifacts in the show, Hackett London has also selected six contemporary photographers – Sam Churchill, Aline Cocquele, Abi Hancock, Dominic James, Irina Kazaridi and Uli Weber - who will show compositions that have never before exhibited in the UK.   This aspect of the show exemplifies a refreshingly contemporary take on Polo, and specifically focuses on the grace and elegance of the sport and the horses.  With stripped back compositions that show the strength of both player and horse, the images transcend the sport itself and become studies in poise and dignity.  Weber’s series has been commissioned exclusively for Hackett London, and as he so aptly puts it, the images “highlight the raw and powerful nature of equine power versus human strength, yet also show the beauty and grace of that relationship. The inspiration came from the relationship between horse and rider and the mysterious, symbiotic, and ancient relationship between man and beast.”  As evidence by the diverse range of work in POLO 150: Celebrating British Army Polo, this is not simply a sport; it is a value system, a philosophy of life. Together the works in the show highlight the inherent courage, strength, joy and speed that sit at the heart of Polo and celebrate its ongoing importance in British Army life.

Photography by Jennifer Moyes