Helen Chadwick’s contribution to contemporary art was original and intensely personal, characterised by the use of her own body as both subject and object. Few artists at the time embraced the means of modern technology - the photocopier, light projection, large format Polaroid camera, computer and microscope - in such a distinctive way. After leaving art school she began to make soft, organic objects based on parts of her body. Direct and intimate, she translated these sculptures into live performances. Early autobiographical works depicted her development from birth to maturity. Later more complex installations comprised photocopied images of her body suspended in a sea of organic forms, emphasising the sensuality and transience of physical pleasure. .

A constant theme in much of Chadwick's work had been the questioning of boundaries, both physical and cultural. A series of 'viral landscape' photoworks involved a computer generation of Chadwick's cellular structure overlaid onto images of the natural coastline. A later series using the Polaroid camera entitled Meat Abstracts (1989), presented the viscera of the body in an extraordinary examination of the function, form and fetish of internal organs.


  • Title: Meat Abstract #4
  • Creator: Helen Chadwick
  • Creator Lifespan: 1953/1996
  • Creator Nationality: British
  • Creator Gender: Female
  • Creator Birth Place: Croydon, UK
  • Date Created: 1989
  • Physical Dimensions: w508 x d610 cm
  • Type: Photograph
  • Rights: © The Helen Chadwick Estate, © The Helen Chadwick Estate
  • External Link: http://collection.britishcouncil.org/collection/search/9/0/object/40010/0
  • Medium: Colour Polaroid Print
  • Acquisition: British Council Collection

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