Caroline Coon  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Caroline Coon (born 1945) is a English artist, journalist and political activist. Her artwork, which often explores sexual themes from a feminist standpoint (she is bisexual), has been exhibited at many major London galleries, including the Saatchi Gallery and the Tate.

Trained as a figurative painter, Coon became involved in the 1960s underground movement in London while still attending art school. In 1967 she founded Release, an agency set up to provide legal advice and arrange legal representation for young people charged with the possession of drugs. She remains politically active, campaigning primarily for feminist causes, including the legalisation of prostitution.

In the 1970s, Coon became involved in the London punk scene, writing about the bands for Melody Maker and providing artwork for groups such as The Clash (whom she briefly managed) and The Police. In the "Punky Business" (punk rock) episode of the BBC comedy series The Goodies, Jane Asher plays a parody of Coon ("Caroline Kook"), the dream lover of Tim Brooke-Taylor's aspiring punk rock star.

Coon inspired the Robert Wyatt song "O Caroline", The Stranglers' "London Lady", and (according to Coon herself)Template:Fact Bob Dylan's "She Belongs To Me" (though this claim is highly questionable; most Dylan experts would argue that the song is actually about either Joan Baez or Dylan's future wife Sara).Template:Fact

In June 2000, Coon won damages of £73,000 from publisher Random House after author Jonathon Green, in his 1998 book All Dressed Up: the Sixties and the Counter-Culture, suggested that in Release's early days she traded sexual favours for donations. The book was withdrawn.


  • The Release Report on Drug Offenders and the Law, Sphere Books, 1969, ISBN 0722124457
  • 1988: The New Wave Punk Rock Explosion, Hawthorn Books, 1977, ISBN 0801561299

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Caroline Coon" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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