26 June 2021

Candida Powell-Williams and Sophia Michael Duo Exhibition, Rectory Projects

Candida Powell-Williams, Sophia Michael
12th of June 4-10PM, with a performance by Hannah Lees at 5PM. Each artist will present a work exploring family ritual and domestic surrealism.

The exhibition is a part of the Every Woman Biennial’s satellite series, open by appointment until 26th June.

Location: Rectory Projects, Newby Place, London, E14 0, United Kingdom

Candida Powell-Williams’s work Orbicular Overlay, is a shell grotto created for the Rectory gardens, exploring their history from ancient nymphaeum sanctuaries to 17th century follies in British garden design and their symbolic relationship to fertility, motherhood, the loss of innocence and notions of the female sublime.

In Ancient Greece girls and boys would cut off their childish locks in a spiritual ceremony dedicating their hair to the nymphs of the springs. The grotto is flanked by a giant scallop shell and two sphinx. Inside is a mirror which takes its form from mirroring the hair of Botticelli’s Birth of Venus. A giant ceramic cowrie shell holds a clump of Powell-Williams’s own hair, cut off when she was 9. Wall paper proliferates the image of a shell patterned decorative interior panel she found in an abandoned building. There are fountains surrounded by frozen and articulated hands that clasp and tip more ceramic shell vessels. Other shells are mosaiced in shards of mirror or are sliced and splayed on the wall, or sinking into the sandy floor.

This installation is part of Powell-Williams’s wider research into the metaphysical journeys through our domestic gardens for which she received arts council funding.