London, Londonewcastle Project Space, Lowbrow Ecstasy, Catlin Art Prize 2015, 8 – 30 May 2015 Woking, The Lightbox, Not all contemporary art is rubbish! The Ingram Collection, 2 February – 10 April 2016
For the work ‘Almost A Stranger’ Watson appropriates imagery taken from the front cover of a Mills and Boon novel of the same name, emblazoning it onto the back of a leather biker jacket. Mills and Boon are a British publishing company known largely for their vast line of low brow women’s erotic fiction. In carrying out such a gesture Watson ask how this shift of display can create new meaning for both image and context. He comments “The sentiment conveyed in the books imagery and titles, ‘Almost A Stranger’ for example, seemed to be a suitable contrast to the usually blunt and direct form of self-branding you’d usually find on leather jackets.
Putting different Book covers onto the back of jackets offers alternative narratives that can potentially be performed, different identities or roles that can be chosen. Initially we think of may think of gender being subverted, taking a heavily masculine object and adorning with what is initially considered to be something feminine, but I feel it’s more complicated than this”.