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Archival inkjet print with hand-applied Indian ink on Somerset Satin Enhanced 330gsm

42 × 29·7 cm

Edition #24 of 25

Much of Fiona Banner’s work explores the idiosyncrasies and possibilities of written language. Her early work took the form of ‘wordscapes’ or ‘still films’ — breathless accounts of classic patriarchal feature films, from Lawrence of Arabia to Apocalypse Now, handwritten like visual poetry.

From installations of balletic planes and helicopter blades to sculpture and drawing, semantics and codes are at the heart of her practice. Banner juxtaposes the epic and brutal with the sensual and poetic, performing paradoxical choreographed feats of intimacy and alienation. 

For the Portfolio the artist has channelled the elusive romance and fascination with this most symbolic of flowers. The textual love letter captured like a passing thought, this contrary ode to the legendary black tulip chases its own elusiveness in an impassioned splash of ebony ink. The title is a nod to The Scarlet Pimpernel, an adventure novel by Baroness Orczy seen as a precursor to the spy fiction and superhero genres of the next century.

That Damned Elusive Black Tulip

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