Project Space & Art Gallery |Summer 2015


'A Vernacular History Starting With The Golden Rhubarb' is a sculptural work that explores the fetishism of anthropological objects.

The objects presented were inspired by artifacts found in Rome; each one picked for its particularly absurd and often implausible historical narrative or for the bizarre way tourists are required to interact with it.

However the artist’s sculptural renditions do not seem rooted in real history but in some other parallel reality. By throwing together these sculptural entities the artist weaves a new narrative inspired by a satire from the Middle Ages about Joan who became Pope by pretending to be a man.

The vitrine-like space provides the ideal platform for these saccharine, candy-coated objects to appear as sacred and valued talisman.


Candida Powell-Williams' work often opens up multi-layered narratives: she plays with the effects of (re)telling stories, drawing from a myriad of reference points and adding red herrings along the way.


In this show each object has an accompanying text:

1–  herbaceious perenial growing short thick rhizomes for medical purposes with toxic leaves rhubarb rhubarb rhubarb rhubarb rhubarb rhubarb repeated over and over for unintelligible conversation.

2–  the least you need to represent a face

3–  foot computer generated foot  perfectly shaped foot bungoen free blister wart free foot  meets sausage finger sweaty strangers hand ice cream sticky hand unnatural colouring

4–  snake grenades ammunition in a pot

5–  Once the moon made from all the dust of the double U's particularly partial to rubbery hands like Pinocchio's

6–  siphoning nature into little jets fons fontis flip those pennies

7–  these heads have lost their obelsik crawl under the obelisk to wear their skin is a source of pride pride's are often described as matriarchal because more females belong

8–  abracadabra

9–  a political grope the gender of all incomings must
be checked

10–  pinecone of tongues pituitary gland hormone provider

Exhibiting artist


About this show, she says:

"Putting something behind glass escalates the level of voyeurism, you become implicated just by the act of looking.

My work is both object-orientated and simultaneously narrative-orientated. If anthropological objects can tell us about the past, my objects seeks to describe the potential to manipulate and play with this... I operate in a space between material reality and fantasy.

Each work exists within a larger narrative the title of which, in this case, is the Vernacular History starting with the golden rhubarb. One of the intricacies of this installation is that it isn't purely a vernacular history. It has elements of language at play.

The language serves to indicate a methodology present in the making, one whereby I start to describe something by physically making but I get distracted by language, the way we try to describe something and all the connotations that are conjured in the process and so a new narrative is woven. "