Locke was born in 1930 in British Guyana, on the Caribbean coastline of America. Travelling extensively throughout America, Britain and the Caribbean, Locke’s artistic ideology was always reflective of his early years and his diverse. Introduced to art in Guyana by E.R. Burrowes, he studied at Bath Academy of Art and Edinburgh College. Back home in the 1960’s, Locke was part of the creative elite who shaped art after Independence, using the language of modernism, comingled with traditional motifs, to help mold a new International style. He may be best known in the UK for a series of paintings and sculptures entitled, The Plantation Series, forms held in strict lines and grids, connected as if with chains or a series of bars, analogous he has said, to the system whereby one group of people are kept in economic and political subjugation by another. He moved to America in 1979, when he received a Guggenheim Fellowship. During the eleven years spent in the Southwest, Locke was known for his anthropomorphic and figurative sculptures both in clay and in bronze. Towards the end of this period he began painting again – adding collaged materials directly to the surface of canvas or panel. In 1990, he moved from Arizona to Atlanta, where the work of African-American vernacular artists made a dramatic impact on him. From 2006 he turned again to his first love, ceramics.
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