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HEW LOCKE

Laluni St.

Laluni St, 127 x 164cm (including white border) 2014

Painted photographs of buildings (part of ongoing series of large painted photographs)

2013 to present    various dimensions
Acrylic paint and ink on c-type photographs
Architecture

These houses are falling apart, and returning back to the earth from which they originally came as trees. They are like spirit houses. The titles are all real place names, either streets in Georgetown or villages from the coastal road of Guyana. Many of these village names are actually the names of the old plantations, but many are the names given to their new communities by freed African slaves, or by indentured labourers from India. These village names are evocative of hope, but also of the different colonial powers that passed through the land. The rising water references the real threat of flood in this country which, like Holland, is below sea level. But it is also the Flood of the Mind, or Memory, washing away the past. When I was small the wood for building and maintenance was cheap. Now concrete is cheaper, and these houses are disappearing. The wood is expensive partly because it is being logged by Chinese companies and shipped out. Houses are increasingly left empty to rot when people emigrate, or the owners die and there are disputes over a legacy, especially when the children now live abroad.

Bonnard and Monet are influences, and the female figures were partly inspired by a trip to Prague; I wanted to create a neo-Caribbean Art Nouveau. The light-skinned figures reference the history of mixing between slave masters and slave women in the higher echelons of past society, but also reflect the East Indian and Amerindian elements of the nation's cultural mix.

 

Rose Hall

Above - Rose Hall, 127 x 164cm (including white border) 2014. Below left - Rebecca's Lust, right - Mosquito Hall, both 213 x 127cm, 2013

Rebecca's Lust Mosquito Hall

 

 

 
All images © Hew Locke & DACS unless otherwise indicated