Victoriana Install – part 1

by Chantal

detail from "Nightingale's Nest". Chantal Powell, 2013

detail from “Nightingale’s Nest”. Chantal Powell, 2013

Last Friday was the first install day of the Nightingales Nest piece which will be part of the Victoriana: The Art Of Revival exhibition at the Guildhall Art gallery in September.

I’m very lucky that the space in which the piece is being installed is not currently in use meaning I can start working in the space as early as this. It has meant that there is more scope for experimenting and adjusting ideas as necessary without having the more usual few days before the show deadline.

I was also fortunate to have best friend and art partner Dean Melbourne on hand to help with both the practicalities and making some important judgement calls.

early stages of install

early stages of install

The curator Sonia Solicari, and all the staff I have met at the Guildhall are a real pleasure to work with! I’m certainly looking forward to going back in a few weeks time and moving the piece forward again.


Victoriana, The Art of Revival:

See works by Yinka Shonibare, Grayson Perry and 26 other major British artists as the Guildhall Art Gallery explores the weird, wonderful and often dark world of Victorian Britain.

The first-ever exhibition in the UK to offer a major retrospective of Victorian revivalism, Victoriana: The Art of Revival features more than 70 works exploring four central themes: The Neo-Victorian Identity, Time Travel, The Cute and the Curious and The Reimagined Parlour.

The alternately playful, surreal and macabre works range from film, photography and fine art to textiles and taxidermy, with highlights including:

  • Paul St George‘s Crookes Tube, enabling viewers to “see” another viewer from a different part of the gallery
  • Yinka Shonibare‘s re-imagining of Dorian Gray
  • Paula Rego’s sinister re-visioning of Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre
  • Yumiko Utsu‘s surreal Octopus Portrait
Detail from Nightingales Nest.

Detail from Nightingales Nest.