Giant Loss

Submitted byJeeraik009 onWed, 12/08/2010 - 11:14


The black diaspora art world is saddened at the recent death of one of its stalwarts Donald Locke This artist who was born and educated in Guyana, developed his talents as a sculptor and ceramist in the UK having gained a British Council Scholarship to Bath Academy of Art and a Guyana Government Award to Edinburgh University. In 1979, a Guggenheim Fellowship in Sculpture allowed him a year as an Artist in Residence at Arizona State University after which he gained permanent status remaining in Phoenix for another decade. In 1990, he moved to Atlanta where he continued to live and work while enjoying international acclaim in group exhibitions in USA and Europe such as Back to Black, Whitechapel, 2005. His works such as Trophies of Empire 1, 1972-1974, (detail depicted here), comprise robust disconnected forms that eerily echo the cultures and geographies he had experienced. Heavy metal vessels, solid wood forms and found objects are placed together creating awkward human effigies or challenging abstract assemblages. Their loaded erotic and sometimes violent symbolism bring to mind mournful memories from the past and issues related to slavery, identity and sovereignty. His, are sombre images of the Black Atlantic world that Locke straddled so boldly.