Chantal Powell – Artists Blog

Tag: exhibition

Pics from Cave exhibition

Here are a few pics of my works in Aspex Gallery’s current Cave exhibition.

Relics, 2012. Chantal Powell

Relics, 2012. Chantal Powell

Relics, Parrot Skulls, and Piers Wardle piece. (all 2012, Chantal Powell). Installation view Aspex Gallery

Relics, Parrot Skulls, and Piers Wardle piece. (all 2012, Chantal Powell). Installation view Aspex Gallery

“Chantal Powell’s ‘Relic# 21 after Piers Wardle’ echoes ideas of ancient ritual; a gallant stag decorated with flowers evokes suggestions of shamanistic and pagan ceremony. At the same time each of Powell’s works observe the creation of language. The skulls in ‘Relic’ and the Inscribed Parrot Skulls are decorated with an amalgam of ancient letters, words and hieroglyphics. Powell’s PhD focuses on the psychology of human relationships informs her work as an artist.” (excerpt from exhibition text)

Untitled (Parrot skulls 1-3)

Untitled (Parrot skulls 1-3)

Relic #21 After Piers Wardle, 2012. Chantal Powell

Relic #21 After Piers Wardle, 2012. Chantal Powell

Aspex Gallery, Portsmouth, 21st Nov – 6th Jan

Artists: Vasiliki Antonopoulou, Joanne Hummel-Newell, Chantal Powell, Jo Willoughby

Work Selected and curated by Clive Caswell & Letty Clarke

ArtHAUS opens tomorrow

I have work in the exhibition ArtHAUS which opens tomorrow at the Execution room on Vyner street.

Read about the show on FAD art news and House & Garden where it is featured.

“a surrealistic take on the modern home. Incorporating five dynamic rooms through which visitors are invited to wander”

03/05/2012 – 29/06/2012 
The Execution Room, 12a Vyner Street, London, E2 9DG

Coffee and Planning in Birmingham

meeting with artist Dean Melbourne and curator Anneka French

With just over three weeks to go till the first showing of The Fall Of The Majestic Elk it was great to get to travel up to Birmingham for a couple of days to meet with Dean and Anneka to properly sit down together and really work through some of the logistics.

I’m based in Southampton so most of the time we communicate our thoughts via phone or a 3 way project blog we have set up on Posterous specifically for sharing ideas, images and work progress on the show. Its very useful in terms of being able to scroll back and see how things have developed over the months or revisit ideas we may have forgotten about but nothing beats the opportunity to sit down all together with lots of coffee and really work through stuff together.


It was fantastic having a curator on board to help with the selection and placement of works and I’m really excited about the future exhibitions and ideas she has to grow the Majestic Elk in alternative spaces. By the time we finished we had a good idea of how this show would be curated, a good long list of things we need to work on in the next 3 weeks and we even managed to fit in shopping for the fabric we will be using to dress some of the space.


Its up and running!!

Boy I’ve been tired since getting the show up!

Installing the show at Westbourne Grove Church Artspace was a unique experience for me as I hadn’t curated my work on that scale before. It was a challenge thinking not only about the pieces conversing well with each other but also working within the rather unique space. I was lucky enough to have a friend with curating experience, Kate Maple, share her thoughts and give me some valuable advice on what to consider.

The artspace had allowed me a great deal of space to show in – a large lobby area, two octagaonal tower rooms looking onto the street, an upstairs area, as well as adjoining corridors and stair space. I really liked the separation of spaces and enjoyed utilising the different architectural aspects of the interior. I also took the step of installing a site specific piece across two walls upstairs on the day of the opening – a bit of a risk for someone like me who prefers things completed well in advance of a deadline!

Timeline, 2010. Found photographs, documents, pins, thread

Detail from "Timeline"

Detail from "Timeline"

As Westbourne Grove Church building is used by a wide variety of individuals and community groups, I had to consider the multi use nature of certain areas. The advantage of this is that all works displayed at the artspace are experienced by a diverse audience. However I did find it a challenge to try and ensure that artwork held its ground in areas that were “busier” with seating etc. I think it has been a really good lesson for me to spend a lot of time thinking about different spaces and how to work within them, as well as how an environment will affect the way in which my work will be received.

Forever Young, 2010. Resin, found photographs.

The people at Westbourne Grove Church were fantastically supportive within what I later found out was the extreme end of the scale in terms of time and effort for an install! Susan worked hard to help me realise the show as I wanted it, while her husband was a star giving up his time voluntarily to erect scaffolding and help suspend the doily work. I had lovely ladies on hand to serve up my punch at the PV, and Laura had lots of encouragement and wise words to dispense when the last folks had drifted away at the end of the evening and I was feeling a bit wobbly.

View from the staircase looking down into the Lobby

It was interesting to see how things came together. The space that I thought would be the most awkward to look effective (the small tower room) turned out to one of my favourites displaying the large window frame piece, nests, and the bird embroideries. In the lobby the doily piece ended up looking very different than when it was photographed in the atmospheric vaults but I loved the shadows that were cast across the white gallery wall, duplicating the piece and adding a different depth to the work.

Remnant, 2010. Found doilies, gold thread.

Remnant, 2010. Found doilies, gold thread.

The private view was full of friends and family who had travelled to see the show and it was wonderful to be able to share with the people I love something that is so important in my life. The view was also visited by passers by who had been drawn to the work they saw through the windows, as well as a couple of journalists from Idol Magazine who interviewed me for a feature. I have to confess that after so much work promoting the show I was a little disappointed that a number of galleries who said they would come and visit that night didn’t show but hopefully they will stop by during the 6 weeks the show is running. Even the no shows couldn’t take away from the deliciousness ofPaul’s patisserie delights or the joy of seeing two years worth of work displayed in Notting Hill for all to see. 🙂

Someone To Watch Over You, 2009

Detail from Wonderland, 2009

Detail from "Home", 2010. Found nests, polaroid

Detail from "Forever Young", 2010

All the above photographs were taken by the talented Steve Cross creator of Envow.

Traces and Testament is viewable at Westbourne Grove Church Artspace until August 10th 2010. Images of work included in the exhibition can be viewed in the catalogue online.

Traces and Testament in press

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