Chantal Powell creates sculptural works about the unseen aspects of our psyche. A PhD in social psychology and an ongoing study of Jungian theory and inner alchemy inform her practice.
Over recent years she has been researching first hand the imagery in alchemical manuscripts and alchemists’ notebooks from the 15th and 16th century. Combining symbols from these sources alongside those from mythology and personal inner work she makes sculptures, prints and collages that point to the alchemical process as a metaphor for the transformation of Self. Drawing upon archetypal motifs such as "the vessel", and "the night sea journey" she brings awareness to the importance of energy filled symbols to connect us to a world beyond the rational, that of the mysterious collective unconscious.
A 3 year-project, NightShaking, explored the symbolic and mythological language of the unconscious in relation to personal trauma. Working with artist Dean Melbourne this included a funded research phase exploring manuscripts from the archives of the Wellcome Collection and workshop sessions with a Jungian analyst specialising in Alchemy. The project culminated in a three month collaborative exhibition with the Ingram Collection of British Modern Art at the Lightbox Museum in Woking.
Chantal is also the founder of the residency program Hogchester Arts in West Dorset and hosts the Jungian online book club and speaker program "The Red Book Club". She presents illustrated talks and workshops on psychological alchemy from an artist's perspective and hosts courses with key educators in the field of Jungian psychology. She has co-curated exhibitions at Arusha Gallery in Bruton, The LightBox Museum in Woking, and Hogchester Arts in West Dorset.
Installation view of NightShaking With The Ingram Collection. LightBox Museum Woking. Click image to view catalogue of the exhibition.