AboutMarsden Woo Gallery would like to present âTaking the Chair', Caroline and Maisie Broadhead's first major collaboration. Working intensively together, mother and daughter have chosen seven paintings by masters such as Vermeer, Velasquez and Magritte, in which a chair (usually empty) has a powerful presence. The chair is the point at which Caroline and Maisie's work meets, and this exhibition will show seven of Maisie's photographs, which feature seven of Caroline's chairs, with image and object displayed alongside each other.
The chair is more than an object in these paintings. It is a catalyst for the human action that takes place and it carries the various narratives. Over the last few years Caroline Broadhead has made a number of works that are based on a chair. She has a strong interest in the numerous associations this piece of furniture provokes. Inspired by the often empty, upturned or âabout to be sat on' chairs in the paintings, she has transformed second hand chairs that operate somewhere between an image and an object.
Maisie Broadhead then employs these chairs in her photographic reconstructions of the original paintings. Photographed in theatre-like sets built in Caroline's studio, each of these digital prints are highly worked in Photoshop to give them a painterly quality. Individual elements in the originals are replaced by objects of personal significance to both Caroline and Maisie members of the family act as models; family photographs sit on 18th century mantelpieces made of cardboard; Caroline's mother's wedding dress becomes a dressing up costume for Maisie's son.
Using familiar and unfamiliar elements, the work links past and present, identifying enduring narratives from one century to another. By reworking image and object layers of interpretation are formed, highlighted by the Broadhead's entwined, individual yet collaborative processes. The collaboration itself acts out the connections shared between generations.
Both Caroline and Maisie have a long-running interest in the relationship between a three dimensional object and its representation in two dimensions. Through interpreting these paintings in both two and three dimensions, they have found a way to bring their individually outstanding creative forces together to form a highly personal take on what has clearly been, throughout its history, more than a simple everyday piece of furniture.
Caroline Broadhead (b.1950) works across the fields of the fine and applied arts, creating jewellery, textiles, furniture, three dimensional objects and drawings, and regularly collaborates with choreographers producing installations for live performance. She was awarded the Jerwood Prize for Applied Arts in 1997 and was winner of the Textiles International Open in 2004. Her work is included in numerous public collections internationally. She is Course Director of Jewellery at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, teaches at Goldsmiths College, and has been a visiting lecturer at various national and international institutions.
Maisie Broadhead (b.1980) graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2009 with an MA in Gold, Silver, Metalwork and Jewellery, having first completed a BA in 3D Design at Brighton University. Her first UK solo show took place at Sarah Myerscough Gallery in November 2010. Maisie's work will appear in Memoranda at the Crafts Study Centre, Farnham, from 26th July 1st October 2011.