Helen Chadwick, 'Of Mutability'

Helen Chadwick, 'Of Mutability'

Helen Chadwick (1953-96)
'Of Mutability'
Photocopy, made with a blue pigment
Museum no. E.1756-1992

The Photograph
This photocopy is a small part of Chadwick's large installation. This piece is taken from the collage of photocopies, which would be shown on the floor of a gallery. Her body is shown curled in ecstatic poses, the nature of the feelings her body represents are enhanced by the animals and fruits which spill out around the figures.

Chadwick had begun to use a photocopier after being frustrated by having to use an assistant in order to photograph her own body. The photocopier was also a very direct process of image making. This section shows a fish, with its mouth opened wide. Chadwick had to use dead animals in this work in order that she could position them on the copier. That way, she could capture them in lively, dancing poses. She used the colour blue for the work to suggest other physical spaces such as the sea, as well as to create a strong, sensual mood.

The Photographer
Helen Chadwick experimented with many techniques in her artistic projects. She used photographs, and also photocopies, computer generated images, microscopes, light projections and boxes as well as 3-D forms. Her work was motivated both by a strong conceptual framework and a creative exploration of the particular medium she worked in. She often represented her own body in her work. Sometimes the use of her body in her work was explicitly autobiographical (such as Ego Geographica Sum, 1983-5) but it was also used as the raw material to represent abstract notions and emotions.

Processes & Techniques
This is a photocopy, made with a blue pigment.

This photograph can be found in Prints and Drawings Study Room box EDUC 14a.