HELEN CHADWICK

Youtube Documentary : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-pJj-HeZqCU

There is a sumptuous richness to the juxtapositions in Chadwick’s art. I particularly enjoy the way objects which would otherwise be in different contexts are placed together like a dream or the huge lake of images that swirl and bash into each other in our subconscious minds. I can also now appreciate her eye for detail and the close-up. There is something tactile and sensory in all her work. The physicality of the objects and the body are intriguing. It is flesh and the organic which is captured. There is something subtle and fragile in her subject aesthetic. She also worked with flowers in a subversive way that challenged preconceptions regarding female artists who explored the flower as subject. This is more than botanical drawings or kitsch flower centre wall art for Next or Zara. The framing is actually taming something quite wild and uncontrollable. Flowers are pretty but pretty terrifying. They represent nature at its reproductive zenith.

Another aspect of her work I am now researching is the biological – the microscopic images of the human egg cell, close up of a belly button etc. She wants to get as close to her subject matter as scientifically (as opposed to just humanly) possible. I respect her aesthetic which almost makes icons of these biological processes – both the normal and the abnormal. Her work is about life: messy and delightful.

(To view pics of her work: https://www.artscatalyst.org/artist/helen-chadwick )

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