Candida Powell-Williams

Candida Powell-Williams makes sculptures and performances that layer narratives about cultural and biological evolution. Underscored by feminist themes, she collages history, ancient mythologies and science fiction, drawing parallels and contradictions across time and space.

Sculptural forms accumulate into playful installations – ranging from theatrical landscapes to intimate grottos and probe the transformative potential of the psychedelic. Riffing on the notion of a shared symbolic language, Powell-Williams breaks away from the strictures of storytelling to examine how humans find meaning in disparate things. She often engages with a site’s history and explores how bodily encounters with the environment effect our psyches. Forms frequently reference the Baroque or ‘90s computer games and are fabricated in saccharine colours to evoke theme parks– all genres concerned with movement, journeys and sentient experiences. Interested in sculpture as a live experience Powell-Williams often incorporates performative elements like fountains and motifs such as wheels – human-made technologies- which teeter between dormant and activated states.

Powell-Williams collaborates with dancers on movement sequences and transformation rituals like yoga or labyrinth-walking and is guided by an underlying interest in how a choreography of the body could evoke restless psychological states, such as boredom. The act of making a performance creates its own mythology and informs new sculptures. Accompanied by synthesised soundscapes, performance documentation is collaged with animation becoming a new work which embraces the language of the screen.

Powell-Williams plays with all these different notions of animation to reflect on what it is to feel our way, adapt and find meaning, in the endlessly moving world.

Candida Powell-Williams has an MA in Sculpture from the Royal College of Art and a BA in Fine Art from the Slade School of Fine Art London. Recent exhibitions include Tilt Shift: shadows of the seasoned sun, Southwark Park Galleries (2022); The London Open, Whitechapel Gallery (2022); Orbit within the Echoes a performance as part of Whitechapel Gallery’s Nocturnal Creatures (2021); The Gates of Apophenia at Bosse and Baum Gallery London (2019); Command Lines at Void Gallery Northern Ireland(2019). In 2019 her tarot deck was published by common-editions, she was Artist in Residence at The Warburg Institute London (2018-19) and awards include the Sainsbury Scholarship at the British School at Rome (2012-13). As well as being reviewed widely her work is discussed by Dr Edwin Coomasaru in ‘British Art and the Environment, Changes, Challenges and Responses since the Industrial Revolution’ published by Routledge in 2021.


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