Queen's University
Vanitas:
Margaret Lock
Frances K. Smith Gallery

Season Launch: Friday 8 May, 5:30–7:30 pm

Sunny Kerr

In this selection of monochrome prints by long-time Kingston artist Margaret Lock, figures portray roles in a range of expressive tableaux. Lock’s ungainly nudes capture fumbling vulnerability and vain striving. The woodcut entitled Vanitas refers, with characteristically wry insight, to the artistic tradition of allegorical still life that conveys moralizing and cautionary messages. Lock’s form of vanitas combines symbolism and literary allusion with a portraitist’s feeling for depicting heartache, innocence, sloth, or sanctimony; the emotional intensity lends sting to the artist’s commentary on gender roles and affected piety.

Margaret Lock moved to Kingston in 1987, where she began to practise illustration through hand-printed books, pamphlets and broadsides featuring English Medieval and eighteenth-century texts for Locks’ Press, a private press she operated with her husband Fred Lock until they moved to London (UK) in 2013.

Carling Spinney provided research assistance in the development of this exhibition.

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