Marvin Gaye Chetwynd is known for her experimental group performances, sculptures and paintings that celebrate iconic moments in cultural history. Her works also consist of handmade props, costumes and sets. She is influenced by performing traditions such as medieval plays, carnivals, communes, drag acts and political demonstrations, as well as the history of performance in avant-garde art.
Chetwynd’s commission, Here She Comes is both a live performance and a stand-alone sculpture that consists of a series of leafy screens and an aluminium box frame decorated with a collage that includes a replication of the Triclinium paintings from the villa of Livia in Rome, painted around 30-20BC. The same imagery adorns custom-made jumpsuits worn by performers, who carry View-Master stereoscopes containing images of previous performances, while handmade puppets are brought to life by groups of huddled characters.
Here She Comes relates to women’s history and literature. Chetwynd mixes the reading of texts such as Doris Lessing’s The Grass is Singing, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Yellow Wallpaper with the lives of Boudicca and the educator Maria Montessori told through puppetry and mime. The performance takes place like a burst of energy – it is celebratory and spontaneous, a battle cry from women throughout history to women today.
- Artwork Details: running time: 45 minutes
- Material description: Mixed Media
- Credit line: A 70th Anniversary Commission for the Arts Council Collection. © the artist.
- Medium: Performance
- Accession number: ACC18/2015