That Damned Elusive Black Tulip

Fiona Banner (1966 - )

Archival Inkjet print with hand applied Indian Ink


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  • About the work
    Country: Turkey
    City: Ankara
    Place: British Embassy
    In 2017 Gavin Turk chose one of the most iconic symbols of the Netherlands to focus on for an exhibition at the Museum van Loon, following a visit to his friend the artist Philippa van Loon. Originating in central Asia, tulips were admired in Islamic gardens in Persia (Iran), blooming across the ancient Silk Route and in Anatolia. They are viewed as a symbol of exploration, trade and migration. In the 16th century the Netherlands had a great trade history with the Ottoman Empire (now Turkey) and it was the Van Loon family who were heavily involved in this trade route. Taking this story as a source of inspiration for his exhibition, Turk chose  24 contemporary artists to contribute to the exhibition — each focusing on depictions of tulips. Nineteen of the artists created prints showing tulips in different iterations, from hyperrealistic portraits to ‘exploded flowers’, from frozen blocks of flowers to tulip emojis.
  • About the artist
    Fiona Banner was born in Merseyside and completed a BA in Fine Art at Kingston Polytechnic (1986–89). After finishing her MA in Fine Art at Goldsmith’s College (1991–93), she soon established a reputation as an artist who explored social, political and cultural ideas and themes via her text-based works. Examples of her solo exhibitions include 'The Nam' at the Frith Street Gallery, London (1997), a 1000 page flicker book that features a compilation of descriptions of famous films about the Vietnam War; and 'My Plinth is Your Lap', an installation at Dundee Contemporary Arts (2002). She was shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 2003. In 2010, Banner’s work 'Harrier and Jaguar', featuring two fighter planes, was installed in the Duveen galleries at Tate Britain. An exhibition of her films was shown in Edinburgh as part of the Edinburgh Festival 2013. Banner has also exhibited her work around the world including group shows in New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, Berlin and Vienna. She lives and works in London. In 2017, her work was included in 'Age of Terror: Art Since 9/11', a group exhibition at the Imperial War Museum, London.
  • Explore
    Materials & Techniques
    india ink, digital print, inkjet print
  • Details
    That Damned Elusive Black Tulip
    Portfolio Title
    Turkish Tulips
    Archival Inkjet print with hand applied Indian Ink
    height: 42 cm, width: 29.7 cm
    Purchased from The House of Fairy Tales, January 2018
    verso, br: FB. 2017 7/25
    The House of Fairy Tales; purchased by the GAC 2018
    GAC number