Photo: Chantal Powell in Southampton, South East

Chantal Powell


Chantal Powell creates seductive sculptural objects and installations that cross the boundary between reality and imagination. Informed by her doctorate in social psychology, they have at their core an expressive quality drawn from deeply human sources. 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 in recent works. 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 fake moments of intensity and drama. Her gold, however, is sprayed foam. Her flowers artificial. Her angelic Bernini figures reclaimed mannequins. Through the use of lowly materials and illusionary twists her offerings present a choice – we can accept the limits and disappointments of the real world or we can walk into the theatre set of our minds and give in to our intractable yearning for the extraordinary. Currently she is exploring the concept of facade as a metaphor for the self-fabrication that occurs in our mental processes. Powell’s work demonstrates a joy of making, a commitment to understanding the inherent vocabularly of her materials, and a desire to explore the riddle of our psychological world. 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 in London (alongside artists including Paula Rego, Yinka Shonibare, Grayson Perry, Mat Collishaw and Jack & Dinos Chapman), The Royal West Academy in Bristol, OCCCA in California and at the 53rd and 54th Venice Biennales. read full statement

Location Southampton, South East
Artforms / type of project Installation, Metalwork, Mixed Media, Sculpture
Tags baroque, materiality, expressive, psychology, scultpure, installation, literature

News & Events

  • Young Masters Art Prize

    I have been shortlisted for the Young Masters Art Prize and will be exhibiting in two exhibitions later this year at the Lloyds Club and Sphinx Art Gallery.

  • Existential Mirage

    Stage-like installation referencing mental illusions and facades that we construct for ourselves. Stand Clear gallery, Portsmouth June/July 2014

  • Museums At Night - Power Nap

    Guildhall Art Gallery, London

    The Guildhall Art Gallery, London present a collectively realised dream themed installation led by artist Chantal Powell. The event will take place as part of the Gallery’s Museums at Night event.

    Find out more