Chantal Powell’s sculptural objects and installations explore concepts of truth and illusion and concepts of reality.
Her artistic practice has an ornate vocabulary with emphasis on materials and theatricality. She borrows from the intensity and immediacy of baroque tradition – using their tools to offer up moments of intensity and drama. Her gold, however, is car paint spray. Her flowers artificial. Her angelic Bernini figures reclaimed mannequins. With works playing up theatrical facade and illusionary twists, we are led to consider the self-fabrication and deception that occurs in our personal constructions of our realities.
Themes and imagery are often referenced from visually rich literature that has strong psychological undercurrents. J.G. Ballard novels, Joris-Karl Huysmans’ Against Nature and George Sand’s Journey Into The Crystal have all been used as inspirational starting points. Baudrillard’s philosophy that we have become disconnected from “the real” and live in a reality of signs and illusions is a key influence.
Currently she is drawing inspiration from the classical architectural frieze, Battle Of The Gods and Giants, housed in the Pergammon museum, Berlin. Distorting and incorporating image fragments from this already reconstructed artwork, the final installation will play with shifts in dimensionality and perception.
Chantal Powell lives and works in Southampton, Hampshire. A PhD focusing on the psychology of human relationships informs her work as an artist. Powell’s work has been exhibited widely in the UK and internationally, most notably at The Guildhall Art Gallery, London (alongside Paula Rego, Yinka Shonibare, and Mat Collishaw), The Royal West Academy in Bristol, OCCCA in California and at the 53rd and 54th Venice Biennales. This year she was shortlisted for The Mark Tanner Sculpture Award. She is an elected member of the Royal British Society of Sculptors.
Courtesy of the artist’s website.