Friday, 21 March 2014

The grammar of ornament: new papercuts and ceramics

This exhibition at jaggedart in London shows a new body of work by Charlotte Hodes created in response to ‘The grammar of ornament’ an influential book on decoration and design written by Owen Jones in 1856. Until then, the decorative arts were traditionally associated with women and often considered frivolous and unnecessary. The ‘propositions’ in Jones’ book aimed to educate ‘artists, manufacturers and the public’ about the correct rules of ornament. Hodes subverts the ‘propositions’ that rigidly describe accepted decoration such as ‘all ornament should be based upon a geometrical construction’. She includes a female figure in each of her pieces in an effort to feminise the classification and to subvert the idea of women being considered as decorative, domestic goddesses. I rather liked the lacelike quality of these two images I saw in Crafts magazine.

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