Chloe Beddow (she/her)
An observation or conversation will spark a body of work. For my work, it was a conversation I had with my Grandad talking about his late wife, and my grandmother, June. This conversation entailed him showing me old photo-albums that I had never seen, images of my mum growing up in Canada and images of June, a woman I had never met. I barely even knew what she looked like. I was struck by how few images existed of my mum with her mum, especially in comparison to how many there are of my mum and me.
So, I began to digitally restore and paint these rare photographs, multiplying them. I took photos on my phone of the photo albums to document the images and later reproduce them. Once I digitally painted an image it would undertake different material methods including oil painting, projection, screen printing and inkjet printing onto backlit film. In this way, my practices explored how the use of varying materials changes the way an image is viewed and contextualised. Marlene Dumas wrote in her poem Women and Painting: “Painting doesn’t freeze time. It circulates and recycles time like a wheel that turns”. This sums up exactly how it felt to reproduce these images across mediums. I was recycling the images into varying materials, creating layers of memories that circulated them into the present. Moreover, the process of continually drawing June with varying techniques began to create a physical material connection to a pioneering woman I am related to but have never met.
Underpinning my practice is a fascination with how changing technologies have altered our relationship to memory and time. I am intrigued with how technologies have come to visually represent generations. The technology of a time determines how things were visually documented, for example, to see June is to look through a physical photo album, to see my last family photo is now to look back on my phone’s camera roll. My practice explores how this disparity can be used to articulate the passing of time whilst simultaneously reproducing and restoring documentation of previous generations, increasing our connection to the past and understanding our present.
Installation shots of degree show
Mother and Child II
St Aidans Community Centre
A Ferry To Canada
Mother and Child
Selected works January – April 2022
This body of work was also inspired by the images my Grandad showed me of my mum growing up in Canada.
Selected works September – December 2021
Research by software company Click Tale showed that the average time spent on an internet page is 23 seconds. My work aims to take digital paintings out of a digital screen into varying new mediums to increase the viewer’s gaze from 23 seconds, encouraging a more personal engagement with the figures we see in visual culture.