Edward Chell - M2 Motorway Island, Junction 3

Oil on shellac on linen, 2013. Courtesy the artist.

Edward Chell - M2 Medway Services, Eastbound.

Oil on shellac on linen, 2013. Courtesy the artist.

Motorscapes

Oil on paper or linen

Courtesy the artist

Though Edward Chell works across media, making combinations of objects and text, his practice is rooted in painting. He investigates the different stories and values we attribute to particular environments or places. Chell is particularly interested in those spaces we routinely overlook, the peripheral or marginal landscapes.

Chell’s Soft Estate project investigates the artificial landscapes and delicate ecosystems surrounding our road networks and their relationship to eighteenth century English landscape design. Seemingly urban in character, these ‘motorscapes’ are fragile, but also extremely self-sustaining and hard environments.

The Garden of England series of paintings draws on the 18th-century English Landscape tradition to investigate the motorway verges. They also draw attention to the relationship between our experience of landscape and the ways in which we travel through it.

These paintings were originally exhibited in Little Chef restaurants, a modern equivalent of the 18c network of watering holes that catered for the Grand Tour. Tourism, with its roots in early tourist guides by William Gilpin and William Wordsworth, has led to the exploitation and even damage of places they wanted to protect. 

 

Edward Chell

Edward Chell is an artist based in London and Reader in Fine Art at UCA Canterbury. He has a BA in Fine Art at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne and an MA in Painting from the Royal College of Art.

His work explores ideas around taste, consumption and display and their relationship to environment he has a particular interest in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and the interplay between discovery, natural sciences and the decorative arts.

He was awarded an Arts & Humanities Research Council Fellowship in 2012- 2013 for Soft Estate an exhibition and book that investigated the artificial landscapes and delicate ecosystems surrounding our road networks and their relationship to eighteenth century English landscape design, touring from Bluecoat Liverpool (2013) to Spacex, Exeter (2014)

Edward’s most recent exhibition and book Bloom, published by Horniman Museum and Gardens in 2015, interrogated histories surrounding the museum collection, weaving narratives from the burgeoning eighteenth century trade in luxury goods from China – wallpapers and porcelain – to plant collecting and the layered taxonomies of artefacts in the collection.

He is represented by Galerie Bugdahn und Kaimer, Düsseldorf, Germany.

www.edwardchell.com