Sunday 23 February 2014

Marvin Gaye Chetwynd

Marvin Gaye Chetwynd at Nottingham Contemporary.

Marvin Gaye Chetwynd was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2012. This is her first solo exhibition at a public gallery in Britain.

Most installations and sculptures in the exhibition started life as handmade puppets, costumes and sets for her anarchic, joyful performances. Her art is influenced by the history of popular performance including medieval mummer's plays, carnivals, communes, drag acts and political demonstrations. She also draws on the history of performance in avant-garde art.

'I have more respect for literature than anything. I find magic realism and literature the most satisfying way to understand history or politics... I am very interested in the origins of theatre, folk theatre and mumming. I like carnival, comedy and nonsense... B movie directors are often inventive due to their lack of budget and the results are really interesting. The audience have to fill in the parts that are missing. It is almost as if B movies don't underestimate the audience. A parallel are Brecht plays...

Simply put I am expressive and I find expression in making things very satisfying. I would not work with bigger productions as I find it doesn't interest me. I like the excitement of problem solving when you have a low budget, and the sense of autonomy and spontaneity that comes from working on my own or with a small team'.

Cat Bus, 2010

The front of Cat Bus 

The legs of Cat Bus which are attached when there is a performance

Various costumes from the following performances: Cat Bus, The Lion Tamer, The Green Room

Various performances are being staged while the exhibition is on.  There were none during our visit, but the figure in the front of this photograph wandered around the gallery, creeping up on viewers and hissing in their ears - it was great fun 

I asked if I could take a photograph and the answer was an affirmative hiss, so I snapped

Cat Temple, 2014 

looking closer

Hell Mouth (from Becks Futures), 2010 

Seal Costume, 2010

Seal Costume, 2010

Bat Opera, 2004-05 
'Cognoscenti have told me how much there is in common between the Bat Opera series and the performances I make. There are similarities in the staging and composition. The Bat series are like a story board with close-ups, long shots, medium shots, and so on.
I like to have different ways of working. When working on the bat paintings I am reliant on paint, light and me, rather than listening to other people's needs and organising. With the performances I am like a tour guide'.

looking closer

looking closer

The second gallery with Diorama in the background

Diorama, 2012

looking closer


looking closer

Brain Bug, 2011

looking out.


Exhibition booklet.

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