A skillfully crafted replica of Guyana’s national flag – the Golden Arrowhead, now hangs on the wall of the Guyana Consulate of New York, thanks to the generosity of Jonathan Locke, a son of the soil.
Locke, a recipient of the Certificate of Excellence for Home & Office Cabinetry from the Association of American Institution of Architects, presented the three feet tall, five feet wide wooden artwork to Consul General Brentnold Evans during a recent reception in Manhattan.
Expressing his gratitude to Locke, a Museum of Modern Art and Cooper Hewitt Museum recognized artist, Evans said, “This artwork would take Mr. Lock’s signature piece and creativity into posterity.
“This flag will be like honey drops to the palates of Guyanese whose vision will caress the beautiful piece,” added Evans, praising Locke – who was born in Scotland to a Guyanese father and United Kingdom mother – for his consummate skill that went into crafting the gift.
“On behalf of the Consulate General of Guyana and the Guyanese community in New York, I extend to Mr. Locke, our profound thanks and gratitude,” said Evans.
The award-winning artist, who donated a stunning wood cutout of the map of Guyana to E.R. Braithwaite, author of “To Sir With Love” in the past, said the new space inspired him to create the piece. “I felt proud of the consulate and since I had experienced working with veneers, I offered the gift to Consul General Evans,” said Locke.
“I also created this replica because of the love I have for my country. During my recent visit to Guyana I came close to doing what many others do when they go home. Kiss the ground,” expressed Locke, who says he feels a deep emotion whenever he visits his homeland.
The beautiful artistic work was created with laminates from Hawaii, Africa and America, said Locke, who was discouraged from using wood from Guyana. He explained that Guyanese artists create quality furniture but because of climate issues and processing, the wood fissures when it is imported.
Locke comes from a bloodline of famous artists. His parents Donald and Leila Locke’s outstanding works are included in Guyana’s National Art Collection, while his brother Hew, is an inventive artist in the United Kingdom.
A graduate of Leeds Design Workshop in East Hampton, Massachusetts and the prominent Parson’s School of Design, Locke who fabricated the artwork from various piece of veneer to represent the colors of the flag, sees his gift as an important symbol of patriotism.
As the owner of Timehri Studios – a leading maker of innovative, high quality and custom-made cabinetry in the Bronx, Locke has designed pieces for prominent clients such as Mercedes Benz, Timberland, actor Wesley Snipes, tennis star John McEnroe, Bloomingdale’s, and Barney’s.
The innovator began woodwork design from the age of eight, and by age 16 he created a masterpiece tabletop. Locke ultimately became an acclaimed furniture designer whose work was showcased in the New York Times, Shop Design, Architectural Digest, Small Spaces, Chicago Tribune Magazine and Living Large in Small Space.