My work for the HOARD project was the continuation of a project that began in 2012 with the exploration of the Unicorn and its surrounding folklore as a queer symbol, similar to the fairy and that being used as a term to refer to gay men. This led to research into folklore and mythopoeia surrounding unicorns and that, just like fairies, they have been 'cutefied' to make them more acceptable toy for girls.. This came into particular relevance with the increasingly popular stylization of 2014 year of the horse as 'the year of the unicorn'.
The HOARD stage of this project manifested itself as a form of sculpture that would investigate qualities often attributed to Unicorns. Primarily, intelligence. I created a chess set where all of the pieces are Unicorns. This twist on a game that is often revered as highly logical and played by people of intelligence would ask participants to 'up their game' by using a higher degree of logic and memory in order to defeat the game. The basic principle of the game would stay intact – one player versus another, strategically moving chess pieces until one player is defeated.
The inspiration from this came from my time at university when I was told that I 'spend too much time in the land of Unicorns and not enough in the land of logic'. Naturally, this quote would stick with me for the next couple of years and turn itself into art.
After the initial construction was made and shown at one of HOARD's public opening, I realized that it was not nearly absurd enough and I began to experiment with other ways of making it more surreal. I used mirror a mirrored box to multiply the number of unicorns seen and place lights under a checkerboard glass panel. The variety of coloured flashing lights made it all look very disco!
A mirrored film was added to the front panel so the viewer would be able to see into the box and bask in its glory, the film however made it difficult to photograph or video, meaning it was best viewed live and not though a lens or Instagram.
Although I was only a part of the HOARD project for 1 of its 4 years, it was a fantastic experience to work alongside such varied artists and be able discuss ideas and work in a completely unabashed way. I hope to continue the Unicorn project now HOARD has had it's final exhibition as there is still a plethora of ways in which the Unicorn can and has be used as a symbol, and I still very much want to explore them.