After the success of taking Chloe's work to Unseen last year, we are once again delighted to be exhibiting some of her most recent photographs at the fair this year. These are from here latest series Senescence, which we are very proud to have exhibited at the gallery in summer 2013, the artist's first ever solo show.
Informed by extensive travel, residence and immersion in countries foreign to her, Sells explores the question of how places are defined, while speculating on the consequences of human experience of place. Is a place fixed, or continually shifting? Do people shape the particularities of space as they encounter it? From a distinct orientation, what is revealed about comfort or fear, revulsion or curiosity?
Using the stylized and archetypal format of the still life, the objects within the body of work are symbolic surrogates, coordinates embedded with notations of exploration and movement. Relics of archaic civilizations, organic matter in varying states of decay, elements of the quotidian, the utilitarian, the exotic and the occult constitute the carefully-constructed totems. Without conferring a specific history, the objects summoned together within each image create rather than re-create narratives. Sells’s arrangements become less a document of an actual place, and more an allegory of her relationships to those places.
Each of the works is a unique analogue C-type print, handmade by Sells, using conventional negatives overlaid with colour and patterns in the darkroom, subverting the tradition of the meticulously created tableaux. The darkroom process itself is physical, dynamic and time-consuming, constituting a further mapping of the journey. The artifice created through unusual colour and warped light is used to heighten tension between the familiar and the exotic. Image fragments and oddly cut prints have been sketched and painted upon so that each outcome is unique.
Chloe Sells was born in Aspen, Colorado, in 1976. She received a BFA in photography from Rhode Island School of Design, in 2000, and an MA Fine Art from Central St. Martins, in 2011. She currently lives and works between London, UK and Maun, Botswana.