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All images © Hew Locke & ArtImage unless otherwise indicated

Vita Veritas Victoria

Vita Veritas Victoria  
2007, 541 x 391 cm
Cord, plastic beads, gaffer tape.
Coats of Arms, Treasury

Commissioned by Brooklyn Museum, New York.

This wall piece incorporates treasures from other cultures into a heraldic motif. Artifacts from other cultures are therefore re-configured and absorbed into a Western framework, their meanings being altered in the process. It is interesting to note that all Caribbean countries have chosen to design a European-style coat-of-arms as their own symbol, and also that they have all incorporated symbols of the original native peoples' artifacts, plants or wildlife wildlife into this European format. 

Locke utilises several items in the Brooklyn Museum collection, including The Paracas Textile,  a Nasca double spout and bridge bottle, and Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux¹s Negress of 1868 - an ethnographic study for the personification of Africa for a fountain of the four continents in the Luxembourg Gardens. The designs from the Nasca pot runs like a virus or vine through the whole design.  The great museums of London, Paris, Berlin or New York are in themselves national symbols, as well as demonstrations of the ability of these nations to gather to themselves the treasures of other nations.