Candida Powell-Williams : Gates of Apophenia

The Leader



The Seer








The Fool

The World



The Lovers

The Conjurer's Audience

The Hermit

Wheel of Fortune

The Chariot

The Devil




Press Release

Press Release

Press Release

Bosse & Baum is pleased to present Candida Powell-Williams’ solo exhibition and sculptural installation The Gates of Apophenia. Powell-Williams describes The Gates of Apophenia as “a threshold between two states of mind. It is subscribing to scientific logic and an evidence-based understanding of the world whilst simultaneously employing esoteric behaviour in an attempt to influence matters outside of my control.”

The Gates of Apophenia stems from a research residency at the Warburg Institute London exploring the cultural heritage of tarot (playing cards used for divination), the mutation of symbols and the art historian Aby Warburg’s legacy. The project has developed through a performance at Serpentine Gallery (2018) a card deck published by Common-Editions (2018) and a solo exhibition at Void Gallery, Derry Northern Ireland (2019). Throughout these projects, the artist has interpreted her research through performance, photography, sculpture and animation: the translation between each medium, the various shifts in media, scale, time and place, has informed the development of the project.

In The Gates of Apophenia, Candida Powell-Williams creates a singular architectural installation by surrounding the viewer with her miniature sculptural Major Arcana (trump cards). Each card is explored through varying arrangements of repeated sculptural forms creating compositions such as empty castles, temple-like structures, boats and lighthouses, accompanied by animal heads and frozen magician’s gloves as well as fairytale paraphernalia and familiar or mysterious symbols. The sculptures are made from a range of materials, including ceramic, jesmonite, cardboard, textiles and resin with roughly shaped surfaces in saturated pigments of pinks, purples, yellows and greens and ghostly whites. The work here is stripped of the tarots original universal human imagery to draw attention to how object and architecture alone might convey spiritual meaning or imply narrative and plays with the interpretation of symbols. Instigated by philosophical questions about humankind’s disharmony with the universe, these works are choreographed to focus on the potential of esoteric modes of thinking to transform perception.

Powell-Williams’ sculptural and performance works are a response to researching the slippage that occurs between primary and secondary source material, exploring the consequences of retelling history and how we construct memory through objects. Her research is guided by philosophical questions about our attempts to navigate within the purposeless and chaotic universe through the connection of the mundane materiality of objects to action and belief.


Talk: Wednesday 4 December at 7pm. Feminism, Magic & Brexit Q&A between Dr Edwin Coomasuru and Candida Powell-Williams in collaboration with the Gender & Sexuality Research Group at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London. The talk will take place at Bosse & Baum. Tickets are limited, book here.

Performance: One to one tarot readings. Duration 30 mins | £20. Available on request Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and some Saturdays. The readings will take place at Bosse & Baum. Email to book.

Artist Biography:

Powell-Williams graduated from the Royal College of Art, London in 2011 and the Slade School of Fine Art London in 2009. She was recently Artist in Residence at The Warburg Institute London. Selected exhibitions include: Command Lines, Void Gallery Northern Ireland (2019), Lessness, still quorum, performance, Serpentine Galleries, London (2018); Boredom and its Acid Touch, Frieze Live, London (2017); Tongue Town, Museum of Modern Art, São Paulo (2017); Cache, Art Night Associate Programme, London (2017); Vernacular History of the Golden Rhubarb, Bosse & Baum Gallery, London (2017); PIC performance festival, Melbourne, Australia (2016); Coade’s Elixir-an occupation, Hayward Gallery, London (2014). Powell-William’s is the recipient of the 2018 Mother Art Prize with a group show at Mimosa House London (2019). Other awards include the Sainsbury Scholarship at the British School at Rome (2012-13), the Paris Residency at Cite Internationale des Arts, (2010), Eric and Jean Cass Sculpture Award (2010-2011). In 2019 common-editions published Powell-William’s 78 card tarot deck and artist book.