A Place in Time
Lockett drew on the symbol of the Rebirth animal when he made A Place in Time and undertook the first of the series he titled Traps. In A Place in Time, which is much larger (four by six and a half feet) than Rebirth, Lockett drew on pictorial conventions he developed there and in other early works: the use of paint—stiffened cloth to represent earth and the incorporation of scrap lumber and found branches as abstract cyphers, in this instance for the deer’s body and legs. Significantly, Lockett includes two painted insets: one formed with hand-modeled and silvered auto body compound and framing a miniature landscape, the other bearing traces of a similar framing device and depicting the Rebirth animal.
The appearance of the Rebirth figure in A Place in Time marks a moment in Lockett’s practice where he begins to quote his own creations in subsequent works. Lockett’s Traps emerged in response to his own feelings of disillusionment and frustration in the continuing discriminatory environment of central Alabama, the loss of economic opportunity in the face of industrial collapse, and the unrealized promise of the social contract at the heart of the civil rights movement. —Bernard L. Herman