Form Follows Function (1996)

‘Form Follows Function’. 1996 marks the beginning of a series of works in which I attempted to deal with explicit sexual imagery implicitly through the use of the tradition and subtle facilities of high art; metaphor, allegory and implied innuendo. Inspired by photographic images of the extraordinary humanoid forms of blast furnaces, I empowered the enormous scale offered by these industrial landscapes (both physical and cultural) with explicit sexualised form. The flesh of these rusted pipes twist and cavort into industrial sex scenes and reflect the inevitability of our human connection. Heavy industry is traditionally perceived as a masculine domain.

The typical workshop of “smoko” room on any major industrial work site bears witness to a preoccupation with sex that often accompanies dangerous, dirty and mundane male dominated occupations. This painting articulates the dirt/sex relationship and rouses the image of the smoko room into the awesome physical form of the work place. The catch phrase that I employ as the title for this work…Form Follows Function, serves to encapsulate a modernist design ethic and simultaneously begs the question…could we not perceive that this fundamental human function could also be celebrated through its form.