In Faerie Land, UK-based artist Jakob Rowlinson takes you on a queer journey through the dark forests of fantasy literature and pop culture. Here, lusty Disney characters dwell in the forests of medieval tapestries, kinky boots are transformed into Green Man masks, and swordplay takes on a whole new meaning.
Rowlinson is an exciting emerging figure in the London art scene, who uses textiles, embroidery, and sculpture to weave alternative histories steeped in queer culture and nature. This exhibition features a mix of new and existing works which reimagine the art of the Middle Ages, exploring how the fantasy genre has shaped the way we imagine this period through sources like Disney movies, Game of Thrones, Final Fantasy, or Lord of the Rings.
Medieval historians argue that there was a far more fluid and hybrid understanding of sexuality and gender in the art and literature of this era—something rarely reflected in our modern retellings. Entwined with lush forms that speak to notions of natural/unnatural, Rowlinson revisits the construction of masculinity within these narratives, teasing out the queer undertones that have always existed in stories of big swords, male companionship, and magical forest liaisons.
Rowlinson was born in 1990 and raised in Norwich, which claims to be the most complete medieval city in the United Kingdom. He studied Fine Art at the Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford before completing an MA in sculpture at the Royal College of Art. Now based in London, Rowlinson has exhibited widely across the UK and Europe.