‘Domestic Pirate’, an installation of sculptural objects such as ‘Happiness not included’ (vintage sewing patterns & footstool legs) or ‘Bride 21’ (vintage wedding magazines, ply & felt pen) by Paula Chambers.
“My mother was not a feminist, yet growing up in 1970s suburban north London I was witness to, and complicit in, her active refusal to conform to the expectations of a good housewife. Cleaning, tidying, dusting, washing up, were all low on the list of my mother’s priorities, instead she played tennis, she grew vegetables, she went out dancing; my sister and I were left to our own devices. As a feminist artist, I have adopted my mother’s domestic dissent, integrating it as philosophy into the processes and outcomes of my art making practice. I do not have a studio but make art in my kitchen; I rarely clean or tidy up, I utilize my domestic space and the objects that inhabit it, as a temporalized site of domestic resistance.”
Dysfunctional furniture and ambivalent ornamentations come together in Paula’s work to create a feeling of senselessness and ineffectiveness. An ambivalence toward domesticity and the routines and chores of mothering give way to present a narrative which is both playful yet isolated. Her work is both beautifully nostalgic in its ability to recognise the past, as well as breathe life into a new era of domestic realities. I just love her seamlessly poignant and elegant work!