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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.


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’s practice is rooted in painting but he works across media, making combinations of objects and text and exploring the site-specific. He is interested in conflicting storylines within the spatial environment, aiming to capture the collisions between the values and meanings we bring to our experiences of place, with a particular focus on borders and peripheral places that present a form of ‘Terrain Vague’ (meaning abandoned areas; obsolete, unproductive spaces and buildings).

Chell’s recent solo exhibition ‘Bloom’ at the Horniman Museum and Gardens, London, (2015) explored the sometimes uneasy relationships between taste, material and environmental exploitation and display, using the museum's plant collections framed by the visual tropes of blue and white porcelain.

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.

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