In 2011, David was awarded the Abbey Award from the British School at Rome, where he studied Roman artefacts. This provides a link with the rich Roman history of Colchester and Firstsite – which houses the Berryfield Mosaic – and his fascination with the depiction and consumeristic reproduction of the male form, from antiquity to the present day.


For Firstsite, Lock has employed blocks of colour drawn from antiquities in Colchester Museum collections to place his paintings upon which act as portals or doors to suggest an extension of the image beyond the painted frame.

David Lock: In-between Us will feature approximately 20 works, including oil paintings, watercolours and large-scale vinyl collage. Six new works are expected to be given their public premieres as part of the show.


Highlights of the exhibition feature works commissioned by Barrie Drewitt-Barlow from Essex who along with his former partner Tony, were the first gay men in 1999 to father children through surrogates; Saffron and Aspen is a portrait of the Drewitt-Barlow’s eldest children who were the first children to be born, via a surrogate, to a gay couple. From being castigated and creating a furore throughout tabloid newspapers in the late 1990’s and into the millennium, they are now perceived as icons of changing family structure, something which Firstsite actively explores and celebrates through its artistic and engagement programme.


Other works in the show explore the influence of working-class men’s fashion such as sportswear and its style within queer culture.


David Locks says: “I am delighted to be given this opportunity to show at Firstsite. To so soon show some works to the public which were and are private commissions albeit where I was given free reign. I am really thankful to all the generous lenders”.


Sally Shaw MBE, Director of Firstsite adds: “In-between Us is a fascinating examination of masculinity and identity, urging us to reevaluate societal constructs and explore how these can be challenged through art to create a more inclusive and open society.


“We’re thrilled to present this exhibition, which is David’s first solo show, at Firstsite; especially as his work holds particular relevance to Colchester and our Roman history. In-between Us creates many really important and interesting links with the rich cultural history of the area. Alongside Roman history, aspects of previously unknown LGBT history specific to Essex are celebrated – bringing important narratives to light which have previous laid forgotten.


“The exhibition is an excellent demonstration of how art can draw attention to important issues and hidden histories, evoking emotional connections and presenting us with new perspectives that inspire us to think differently.”

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