Ornament And Crime

This series of watercolours is a reaction to Adolf Loo's  attack on ornamentation in art in his 1913 essay Ornament and Crime. His correlation of ornament with the useless, the unmodern and the feminine inspired the employment of intricate decorative fonts and borders as a red herring, diverting attention from sexually charged euphemisms. Texts are collected from online forums where men share nicknames for their phallus, and through the disguise of ornamentation female agency is reclaimed with indirect speech - the subtle but satirical mimicry of hyper masculinity. This subversive gesture is extended to the use of watercolour- through the act of tracing, careful brushstrokes downplay the looseness and un-erasable quality of medium.


Winner of Henrietta and Lola Anne Tunbridge Watercolour Prize 2011, judged by Julian Hooper and James Cousins.