Bound - Unicorn Embroidery

The ‘Bound’ embroideries are taken from my body of unicorn studies. The work draws upon the historical significance of the symbol of the unicorn and re-appropriates it for the twenty first century.

The symbol of the unicorn has long been associated with sex, fecundity, reproduction and rebirth.

The unicorn was once held up as a striking phallic symbol of masculinity and was described by Ctesias (c. 500BC) as ‘the most fell and furious beast of all’. Today however, the unicorn is more commonly associated with the effeminate pink and fluffy rainbow laden daydreams of little girls. In this way we could say that the unicorn has become transgendered.

My ‘Bound’ unicorns reflect this transformation. The embroidered creatures are imbued with large breasts and female genitalia whilst they retain their phallic potency through the large horn that protrudes from their brow.

The creatures depicted here are bound by pink thread in reference to the medieval tale that suggests that a unicorn can only be lured into captivity by a young virgin girl whilst also being suggestive of sexual bondage games.

There are seven panels in this series. Each is framed and measures 39 x 43cm. All. of the works were created with cotton thread on a linen ground