My practice is predominantly three-dimensional and as such can be considered sculpture. However the works themselves do not sit easily as sculptural objects, they do not conform to established notions of form and space; but rather jostle in at the edges of art practice like objects found at a car boot sale or charity shop.

My academic interests are grounded in feminism, exploring ideas around disrupted domesticity, home as an internal exile, and the potential for domestic objects; furniture with memories, to subvert, upset, and deconstruct traditional understandings of women’s relationship to home.

An interest in poltergeist phenomena has led me to further investigate the agency of objects, both as inherent in materiality itself, and as an index of the maker/performer. As sculpture, domestic objects perform an uncanny dialogue that can be seen to position the disruption of domesticity as aligned to the ‘feminine’ supernatural. Feminism too is haunted by its uncanny relationship to house and home; the unresolved past returning as artwork that appropriates the language of domestic dissent.

 

Biography

Paula Chambers has exhibited widely both nationally and internationally; with a back catalogue of solo shows, including Shoplifting at Woolworths: And Other Acts of Material Disobedience at The Civic, Barnsley, Home (dis)Comforts at Dye House gallery, Bradford, Transcendental Housework at Stockport Art Gallery and Domestic Pirate at Show Space, London.

Paula studied under Griselda Pollock at the University of Leeds for the MA Feminist History, Theory, Criticism and Practice in the Visual Arts; this course had a profound and long lasting impact on the focus and direction of Paula’s art practice and academic interests.

Paula is currently Subject Leader for Sculpture BA (Hons) Fine Art, at Leeds Arts University. She gained her practice-led PhD from Middlesex University with a project titled Feral Objects and Acts of Domestic Piracy: Sculpture, Secular Magic, and Strategies of Feminist Disruption.

Paula has presented at national and international conferences on subjects around feminism, contemporary art and the domestic, including Feminist Activism and Artivism at Middlesex University, Decorating Dissidence at Queen Mary University, London, Theorising Motherhood in The Academy, Manhattan College, NY, and at Motherhood and Creative Practice, London Southbank University. She has had articles published in Performance/Research Journal (special issue On The Maternal) and in JourMS, The Journal of Mother Studies.

 

Solo Exhibitions

2020 – Shoplifting in Woolworths: And Other Acts of Material Disobedience, Barnsley Civic

2018 – Home (dis)Comforts, Dye House Gallery, Bradford

2016 – Transcendental Housework, Stockport Art Gallery

2014 – With Intent; Fanciful Objects, Batley Art Gallery

2013 – Domestic Pirate, Showspace, London, and 64 Wellington St. Leeds

2012 – Regretfully, Blenheim Walk Gallery, Leeds

2010 – Bird, 20/21Gallery, Scunthorpe

2009 – Precious, Ropewalk, Barton on Humber &

2009 – Bottom Draw, South Square Gallery, Bradford

2008 – Precious, Dean Clough Galleries, Halifax

2007 – Mother! Gallery II, Bradford University

2004 – Gethsemane, Turton Tower, Bolton

 

Publications and Reviews

Book Chapters

Folding Chair for the Feminist Resistance: Activating Feral Materiality. in Feminist Visual Activism and the Body, ed. Basia Sliwinska, Routledge (forthcoming 201)

Materialising Dissent: Pussy Riot’s Balaclavas, Material Culture and Feminist Agency.
in Feminist Art Activisms and Artivisms, ed. Katy Deepwell (2020), Valiz

 

Journal articles

The Lost and The Found: Stories for the Afterlife (of Objects). in Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society, special issue Trauma and Repair in the Museum, (forthcoming 2021)

The Nightdress I Wore to Give Birth In: Performative Materialities and Maternal Intersubjectivities. in Performance Research: A Journal of the Performing Arts, special issue On the Maternal. Vol. 22, No. 4, 2017

Transcendental Housework. in JourMS, Issue No. 1, 2016  https://jourms.wordpress.com/issue-1-sept-2016/

 

Exhibition Reviews

Third Text Online Review
‘Shoplifting in Woolworths: And Other Acts of Material Disobedience’ An Exhibition of work by Paula Chambers. By Dr Dawn Woolley
http://www.thirdtext.org/woolley-chambers 

Corridor 8 Exhibition Review
Paula Chambers: Shoplifting in Woolworths and Other Acts of Material Disobedience. The Civic; Barnsley. By Jay Drinkall
https://corridor8.co.uk/article/paula-chambers/


Selected Group Exhibitions

2020 – Mothers Ruin, The Whittaker, Rawtenstall, Lancashire

2019 – Temporal Terrains, Crossley Gallery, Halifax (a Yorkshire Sculpture International fringe exhibition)

2019 – (im)Material Disarray, SNAPArts, Wakefield (a Yorkshire Sculpture International fringe exhibition)

2019 – The M Word, One Paved Court Gallery, London

2019 – Breaking Ground, Patchings Art Centre, Nottingham

2018 – Rules of Freedom, Collyer Bristow, London

2018 – Home Strike, l’étrangère, London

2018 – Travelling Light, University of Baltimore, USA

2017 – Separation, Dean Clough Galleries, Halifax and Dye House Gallery, Bradford

2016 – Curators Choice: Re-Western, Leeds College of Art

2016 – Alternative Art School Fair, New York, USA

2016 – In Dialogue: Made of all Work, The Bowery, Leeds

2016 – Tabletop Tableaux, Dean Clough Galleries, Halifax

2015 – Art Car Boot Fair, Brick Lane, London

2015 – Floribunda, Dean Clough Galleries, Halifax

2015 – Leeds Revisited, Dortmund Galleries, Germany

2014 – BEYOND, Quad Gallery, Derby

2014 – A Day for HYSTERIA, 142-150 Arlington Rd, London

2014 – Feminist Fiesta 001, HQ, Doyce St, London

2013 – Shelf Life, Shed Gallery, Ilkley

2012 – Wildness Between Lines, The Gallery, Leeds College of Art

2012 – Lines of Conflict, Crescent Arts, Scarborough

2012 – Religionis Violenta, London West Bank Gallery, London

2011 – 10 Sculptors , Batley Art Gallery

2010 – Protect, 10 Vyner Street, London

2010 – Frieze Fair Day, 10 Vyner Street, London

2009 – Born and Bread, Chelsea Galleries, London

2008 – A Garden of Earthly Delights, Durham Cathedral

2006 – Outside In, Wakefield City Art Gallery

2005 – A Haunting, Sackville Street Building, Manchester University

2005 – InSpiritus, St. Anne’s Cathedral, Leeds & Oslo Cathedral, Norway

2005 – Beyond the Sublime, York Minister

2004 – Haunt, Sherborne House

2003 – The Labyrinth Project, Manchester City Centre

2003 – Revelation, Ripon Cathedral

2003 – Centered, Bradford Gallery

2002 – The Sculpture Trail at Hebden Bridge

2002 – Hutton in the Forest, Cumbria

2001 – Cuckoo Farm Sculpture Trail

2000 – Radio Halo, Jodrell Bank Science Centre

2000 – Burghley House Sculpture Gardens

1999 – Beacon Park Sculpture Trail

1999 – The Sculpture Trail at Hebden Bridge

1998 – The Sculpture Trail at Hebden Bridge

1998 – Mother Shipton’s Caves, Knaresbrough

1997 – The Sculpture Trail at Hebden Bridge

1993 – Via the Heart, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds

1993 – Absent Bodies/Present Lives, Leeds City Art Gallery

1992 – Devotion, Czech Gallery, Leeds

1992 – A Change of Image, 5th Humberside printmaking competition, Ferrens Gallery, Hull and The Whitworth Gallery, Manchester