The piece is inspired by memories collected from New Yorkers who have known the city for five decades or more, memories then transformed by the artist into twelve New York City stories. These include travelling from New York for The March on Washington, the spontaneous Time Square celebration on VE day as news travelled across Manhattan that war in Europe was Over, of going AWOL to visit loved ones in Brooklyn, the accolade of an ‘untouchable’, and the story of an old lady forever mistaken for ‘Katherine Hepburn on a bike’. Through these memories, the work explores themes of migration, celebrity, tradition, the communal element of the city, and the city as a place of sanctuary.
Rebecca was the inaugural artist-in-residence at Redeemer’s Center for Faith & Work in NYC. An article exploring the themes and motivation for the creation of the installation can be found here. An excerpt from that piece:
“In my mind the work was about finding the hidden and unexpected. There is something to the work about scale and perspective, about finding the small and finding the forgotten. The installation was designed to reflect the process that, as the artist, I encountered in making the work—the process of finding something, of finding the stories, and finding the people that told them. With respect to this, the installation also included a ‘blink-and-you-miss-it’ element. Around the gallery space, applied low—below the sight line—the walls were dotted with small color printed microtext stories. It was an element of the installation that once you found it and saw it, it became obvious: you would see it everywhere. The viewers who came to the gallery and discovered the dots were give a mounted blank glass microscope slide and invited take a story from the wall for their blank slide—a small piece of artwork to keep”
“If the mark of a life well lived is a perpetual sense of adventure, then Rebecca lives well. If the mark of a talented artist is a propelling force towards new projects, and interesting forums in which to present such work, then yet again, she fits the bill. An enthusiasm towards life and its potential for renewal characterizes and informs both her life and her work.”
Rebecca Locke’s Bio:
Born in the UK, Rebecca Locke is based in New York City, USA which has proved formative in the development of her installation art, film, photographic, sound and performance-based artwork. She is a graduate of Goldsmiths, University of London, and has studied at the International Center of Photography and the School of Visual Arts in New York City. She is a visiting fellow at the Centre for Urban and Community Research (CUCR), Goldsmiths, University of London and an inaugural member of the Association of Urban Photographers.
The City to Sea Project developed from Rebecca’s practice, specifically her work based on her hometown Bognor Regis, and developed in 2013 in collaboration with Magnum Photos for a workshop series and screened exhibition at Urban Encounters, Tate Britain. Rebecca exhibits internationally and recent exhibitions include the Lab Film Festival, London, Visual Urbanism: Perspectives on Contemporary Research, The British Library, London, the Festival de la Imagen, Manizales, Columbia and the first Bienal de Fotografía, Lima, Peru, which featured the artist’s video and sound series Lugares qui fui.
The artist is currently working on a new film, E pluribus unum, and a self-portrait based series, exploring narrative identity and female role models.
Her work can be seen in full at www.rebeccalocke.com