Candida Powell-Williams :
Orphidian’s Sequences

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Orphidian’s Sequences

by Candida Powell-Williams

The works titled Orphidian’s Sequences (16 cadences, 7 cadences, 5 cadences, 3 cadences) are wall hung sculptures with footprints ranging from the smallest sequences 30 x 40 x 10 cm to the largest sequences 130 x 110 x 10 cm, in varying tones of pinks and yellows, made of jesmonite, are decorative approximations of patterns. Coiled around and traversing the arrangements are snakes formed from ceramic chains so that their bodies are articulated, like cogs in an unidentified system. Candida Powell-Williams repeatedly utilises the pliability of snake symbol to represent transformation, uncertainty, the feminine and rebirth. The serpent through the ages has been both worshiped and demonised and in this way has become a symbol of both good and evil. Here this uncertainty and impending danger destabilises the decorative hoard of forms. The series comes in shifting patterns which the artist calls cadences to describe the experience of the different modulations and flow of the pieces, hinting at the artist’s growing  interest in rhythm and sound of her installations.

Candida Powell-Willliams creates installations which play with the relationship between sculpture, live performance and animation. Her research–based and process led sculptural practice is guided by questions about human attempts to understand ourselves within the chaotic universe through the connection between the materiality of objects, action and belief with a particular interest in notions of spiritualism and power, encryption and symbolism. Often Powell-Williams’ sculptural landscapes are a response to researching the slippage that occurs to the meaning of historical artefacts over time, aiming to confront our relationship to memory and storytelling. Using a range of materials and textures Powell-Williams references the every shifting meaning of symbols from architecture to talisman, rendering them physical in modular, emblematic forms or prop-like sculptures akin to drawing and characterised by their wobbly geometry, apparently dissolving edges and the intimacy of the handmade. Fabricated in sweet gradients of pinks, purples, yellows and greens, the colours and surfaces coalesce to appear like disneyfied relics. Sculptures come together in theatrical staging’s animated with fleeting performances exploring gesture, touch and the threshold between our bodies, external environment and kinship to the animal kingdom. These interactions are documented in stuttering layered animations permeating the work with notions of time, presence and absence and addressing the changing nature of sculpture, performance and storytelling in the digital age.

Candida Powell-Williams (born 1984, London) lives and works in London. She graduated from the RCA, London in 2011. Selected exhibitions and performances include: Fountain of Hygiene, The Design Museum, London (2020); Ritual for a New Regime, Cole Projects, London (2020); The Gates of Apophenia, Bosse and Baum London (2019), Sonic Arrangements in the Infinite Fill, performance, Void Gallery, Derry City Walls (2019); Command Lines, Void Gallery, Derry (2019); Mother Art Prize, Mimosa House, (2019); Lessness, still quorum, performance, Serpentine Galleries, London (2018); New Work, Exposed Arts Projects, London (2018); Lotus, Bosse & Baum, London (2017); 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); The Vernacular History of the Golden Rhubarb, Bosse & Baum, London (2017); PIC performance festival, Melbourne, Australia (2016); Coade’s Elixir, Hayward Gallery, London (2014). In 2018 Powell-Williams was artist in residence at the Warburg Institute London, was awarded the Mother Art Prize in 2018 and in 2013 was recipient of the Sainsbury Scholarship at the BSR, Rome. In 2019 common-editions published Powell-William’s tarot deck and artist book. Candida Powell-Williams will be presenting a new sound piece and ceramic work for Art o Rama at the end of August 2020 and will have a major new solo exhibition at Southwark Park Galleries in London in 2021.