Date of Award
Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
Mary Anne Friel
The Evolution of Ornament is a visual exploration of Darwin’s theory of sexual selection, abstracted into three textile panels representing the allure of textural ornamentation. The fragmented shapes depicted are gathered together into asymmetrical layouts that reference dissection and bird plumage. The parallel themes of glamour in the natural world, and the pulsing vivacity of flora and fauna, emerge as a vehicle for the contemplation of the innate irrationality of desire. The viewer is seduced through neon color palettes, tactile materiality, and considered placement of specifically amorphous shapes. They are intended to simulate in the viewer the reaction of a female bird when presented with a mating display, a kind of visceral attraction to an elaborate presentation that speaks more of intrigue than lust. Knit samples provide a textural complement, with many of the patterns referencing retro futurism and the projected glamour of progress evident in American midcentury design.
Fairless, Charlotte Ngaio, "The evolution of ornament" (2018). Masters Theses. 255.
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