Traces and Testament
7th July to 10th August
Traces and Testament is the first solo exhibition of work by Hampshire based artist Chantal Powell. The exhibition presents a compelling overview of her work to date, revealing its overriding themes of loss and longing, the real and the imagined, childhood and mortality.
Powell’s work elevates the relationship between found objects and our memories, desires and dreams, paying particular attention to the ways in which time changes objects – “all things are constantly deteriorating and yet at the same time undergoing a process of enrichment by the stories and physical imprint that the environment and our lives places upon them”. Weaving the story of these objects with her own imagined narratives, she creates emotionally charged works that invite intimacy and personal involvement.
Traces and Testament presents the viewer with connotations of beauty and vulnerability – a fragile nest encased in a glass box, girls white communion gloves, secrets in boxes bound with gold thread. It can be read as a study of nostalgic representations or as an honest exploration of the soul.
Chantal Powell was born in the West Midlands, UK in 1977. She studied psychology at Southampton University and went on to complete a PhD focusing on commitment and sacrifice in romantic relationships. She now works full time as an artist with her doctorate in social psychology reflected in her work’s exploration of the universal emotions that connect us as human beings. Chantal has exhibited throughout the UK, in France and at the Venice Biennale.