Marvin Gaye Chetwynd
25 January – 23 March 2014
Free to all
Marvin Gaye Chetwynd’s sculptures and installations often start as handmade props, costumes and sets for her performances.
Chetwynd's performances draw on the imagery and plotlines of Giotto, John Milton, Charles Dickens, Karl Marx and Dante, but also Meatloaf, The Addams Family, Star Wars and Starship Troopers.
With an Oscar-winning production designer mother, she was brought up on film sets and studied both anthropology and fine art at university. As such, the artist moves between subjects such as folk traditions, sci-fi and contemporary moral issues with ease.
Her performances and art objects champion the values of the amateur and the art of improvisation, but are always underpinned by sincerity to the issues she addresses, previously including the state of democracy, gender politics and personal debt.
For her first solo public exhibition in Britain, Chetwynd presents a selection of recent works, displayed around two largescale performative sculptures.
A tent-sized Brainbug, leader of a bug colony in Starship Troopers is accompanied by a sequence of scaled-down dioramas of film sets and the grinning Catbus from Japanese animated film My Neighbour Totoro. This converts into a video lounge visitors can enter and use.
Meanwhile, a selection of paintings from Chetwynd’s Bat Opera series features individual portraits of the creatures, depicted in a heroic 18th century manner.
Turner Prize nominee Marvin Gaye Chetwynd may also be known under the moniker Spartacus Chetwynd, from which she changed her name last year.
The notoriously hairy Cousin Itt, of Addams Family fame, guides visitors around the exhibition, with gallery assistants on hand to help translate bleeps.