Mimics 1 (2015) A series of 5 photo-etchings, 13 x 17 cm

Facing onto the central landscaped area at Lincoln’s Inn is the UK’s largest concentration of lawyers’ chambers – a labyrinth of period buildings in which legal cases are prepared in close proximity to the courts. Coutts sent each chamber a letter inviting participation in her project. A single sheet of their official headed notepaper was requested on which Coutts proposed drawing a series of mimetic animals with the landscaped area as backdrop, arguing that on some level these animals had evolved similar attributes to lawyers in their manipulation of foreground and background, dark and light.

The paper acquired from five chambers was ultimately not used for this purpose (see Mimics 2). Instead Coutts made a series of photo-etchings using found images of mimetic animals, fish, birds and insects to occupy the landscape that the lawyers move through every day. The oriental flying gurnard, sun bittern, owl butterflies, serval and foureyed butterfly fish all display eye spot markings in addition to their own, making them two, one animal housed within another.