The Lion King? Drawings of the lion garden ornament

Horton, Sarah (2020) The Lion King? Drawings of the lion garden ornament. Drawing: Research, Theory, Practice, 5 (1). ISSN 2057-0384 (In Press)


Abstract Exploring the lion as a symbol of England’s colonial past the drawings presented in this research project seek to subvert the idea of the lion as a symbol of power through the decorative interventions applied to them. The history of the lion as a symbol of British identity and strength in public monuments such as Trafalgar Square is compared to the ways in which owners of ordinary suburban housing in England use lion garden ornaments as indicators of habitus, or class, (Bourdieu) and conspicuous consumption (Veblen). The act of drawing brings these ornaments into the ownership of the artist who employs a number of decorative interventions that seek to undermine the lion’s symbolic status. This is a speculative set of work created during the limbo of Britain’s Brexit negotiations in 2019. It has potential implications for anyone researching the relationship between ornament and identity, or drawing and ornament. Key words: lions, drawing, colonialism, ornament, Africa, interventions, Bourdieu, Veblen

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