Chantal Powell creates sculptural works about the unseen aspects of our psyche. A PhD in social psychology and an interest in Jungian theory inform her practice.
Curious about how we are influenced by our personal and collective unconscious, Powell embraces metaphors, myth and symbolic language in her making. She works intuitively and intellectually in order to identify archetypes and discern key associations from her objects.
Her use of symbolic processes and materials reflect her research into the alchemical process. Alchemy serves as a metaphorical representation for the process of transformation of the Self that Jung called Individuation – a journey that re-establishes a connection between the conscious and unconscious.
Powell is currently working on the project Night Shaking - an artistic and personal exploration into alchemy and depth psychology. A funded research phase, alongside artist Dean Melbourne, included time investigating alchemical manuscripts in the rare books archives of the Wellcome Collection and collaborating with a Jungian analyst with a specialist interest in Alchemy. Night Shaking publicly launches this October at artist run space The Garage in Bristol, and conversational exhibitions are planned for 2021 including a collaboration with the Ingram Collection.
Powell was shortlisted for the Mark Tanner Sculpture Award in 2015 and has exhibited at venues including the Guildhall Art Gallery in London (alongside Paula Rego, Yinka Shonibare, and Matt Collishaw), Arusha in Edingburgh, The Royal West Academy, and at collateral events at the 53rd and 54th Venice Biennales.