Born in Watford, UK 1966.

Lives and works in Leeds.

 

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Paula Chambers’ practice involves weaponising everyday household objects, transforming them into instruments of self-defence, or violent revolt — a stark reminder that the home is often no safe space. Common cooking utensils have their handles wrapped in women’s tights and secured by colourful hairbands in Kitchen Shanks (2017), turning material supports of femininity into makeshift armaments. Exhibited on a security grille, the shanks allude to DIY weapons confiscated from prison wards, and often put on display to educate wardens. This depressingly implies that the female revolt may have already been suppressed — or else, it could illustrate that its insurgents are gaining ground and sharing skills. A rickety barricade of motley found or stolen furniture has been used to construct Domestic Front (2016). Both protective and defensive, the front is infested with small cut-outs of women with guns that are both real and imaginary, grotesque and idealised, from images Chambers sourced from the internet. In the artist’s own words, the installation “haunts our retrogressive imagination” through the use of “dysfunctional furniture and ambivalent ornamentation.”

Paula Chambers