Sarah Lockett's Roses

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    Photo: Stephen Pitkin/Pitkin Studio
Tin and paint on wood
51 x 48.5 inches
Collection of
Souls Grown Deep Foundation

In this quilt-like work Lockett memorializes Sarah Lockett, his neighbor and great-grandmother, who had raised three generations of Locketts and Dials, including Thornton Dial. In 1995, as Sarah’s health began to fail, Ronald Lockett and Thornton Dial became increasingly interested in quilts. She had been a quilter, and now both men were beginning to sift through her effects. Many of her quilts, like the vast majority of African American quilts, were patternless improvisations of fabric blocks, more like quilt "backs" than stylized, formal patterns of quilt "fronts." Ronald began to consider the quilt a magic heirloom that tied together many generations in a shared language and process.