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    Edward Chell: Bramble or Blackberry (Rubus Fruticosus) (detail)

Art: Edward Chell renders motorway plants in glorious silhouette paintings

Posted by Rob Alderson,

For you and I, motorways are merely the most efficient way of getting from A to B, perhaps enlivened by a great CD or a particularly memorable snack. But others see something else – something important, and beautiful and even inspirational. Take Black Box Recorder, who did a song called The English Motorway System. Or take Edward Chell, an artist whose fascination with transition and peripheries has long informed his practice.

Eclipse is a series of 60 silhouette paintings of plants and weeds that has evolved from Soft Estate_, a previous project focused on the ecosystems of motorway sidings. They are currently on show at the The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge in Canterbury, which says of the work: "Eclipse foregrounds contrasting tensions between the rational, scientific impulse to record and classify the natural world according to Linnaean rules, and the fragile, fugitive, ever-shifting eco systems on which our existence depends. A sense of joyous encounter with the natural world is imbued with the bitter sweet, elegiac quality of 18th Century silhouette portraits of loved ones.

Eclipse is on show until September 8.

  • Eclipse_bindweed-convolvulus-arvensis_-edward-chell_2013

    Edward Chell: Bindweed (Convolvulus Arvenis)

  • Eclipse_bramble-or-blackberry-rubus-fruticosus_edward-chell_2013-edwardchell

    Edward Chell: Bramble or Blackberry (Rubus Frusticosus)

  • Eclipse_creeping-buttercup-ranunculus-repens_-edward-chell_2013

    Edward Chell: Creeping Buttercup (Ranunculus Repens)

  • Eclipse_feverfew-tanacetum-parthenium_-edward-chell_2013

    Edward Chell: Feverfew (Tanacetum Parthenium)

  • Eclipse_gorse-or-furze-ulex-europaeus_-edward-chell_2013

    Edward Chell: Gorse (Furze Ulex Europaues)

  • Eclipse_foxglove-digitalis-purpurea_-edward-chell_2013

    Edward Chell: Foxglove (Digitalis Purpurea)


Posted by Rob Alderson

Editor-in-Chief Rob oversees editorial across all three It’s Nice That platforms; online, print and events. He has a background in newspaper journalism and a particular interest in art, advertising and photography. He is the main host of the Studio Audience podcast.