exhibition archive

Brody Chipchase and Isobel Finlay

David Troostwyk / Matt’s Gallery Studio Award & Vanguard Prize Winners 2020

09 November – 11 December 2020

exhibition info | press release | images | reviews | list of works | publication


Please note: the exhibition will be viewable from the outside only – there is currently no entry inside the gallery space. Installation images and information will be available at www.chelseaspace.org

Online Launch Event: Thursday 26 November, 6pm.

Join this live event on Zoom
Meeting ID: 977 3228 6436
Passcode: 362417

Left: Brody Chipchase, Unititled, 2020. Right: Isobel Finlay, Vortex, 2020.
Left: Brody Chipchase, Unititled, 2020. Right: Isobel Finlay, Vortex, 2020.

This autumn, Chelsea Space in collaboration with Camberwell College of Arts is delighted to host an exhibition of new work by Brody Chipchase and Isobel Finlay, winners of The David Troostwyk / Matt’s Gallery Studio Award and The Vanguard Prize respectively. The exhibition sees these two artists, both recent graduates from BA courses at Camberwell College of Arts, come together to showcase and celebrate the culmination of their individual year-long studio residencies. In response to the current access restrictions, Chelsea Space is hosting this exhibition to enable on street viewing via the gallery’s large window frontage.

Brody Chipchase presents a new body of work inspired by objects known as tongue stones - curiosities thought to have fallen from the moon and offer protection from poison. Regarded as mystical treasures from the sky, they were in reality the fossilised teeth of prehistoric creatures. Chipchase presents objects from an imagined world where teeth are the most valuable offerings, collected and scavenged by creatures known as The Tooth Collectors. These relics are the only known evidence that such a place exists.

By fashioning her own mythology and visual language through an assemblage of other-worldly objects and talismans, the artist harbours an archive of artefacts from an unknown realm and ambiguous time encompassing both past and future. Offerings of teeth and bones, ceremonial vessels and globulous idols are some of the curiosities found within this world. The collection of relics, positioned in conversation with each other, allows the artist to explore narrative elements that allude to suggestive storylines without providing us with a fully comprehensive tale. The work presents itself as props to be played with, and like props they act as signifiers to a larger world.

Isobel Finlay is interested in how craft skills reflect the body’s natural rhythms, and how these rhythms can be distorted by modern living and materials. Fabric production was, up until relatively recently, something that would have been done in the home and is inextricably tied to our bodies; fabric literally houses us daily as clothing, protects us and is a form of personal expression. Fabric we create or wear holds a part of us within it.

Describing her process, the artist writes, ‘I offer myself to the world, and it changes and distorts me. Up then down. Left to right. Again and again and again. Memories buried in muscles, twitches of fingers mimicking the ghosts that have gone before. Memories held in the making, the future tumbling from needles that press into the past. Twisted, taut, trembling - the skin of my cloth supporting the things that have come before. Change is inevitable. The hard, unwavering materials of our architecture bleed into us, leave their mark in calcifying scars. We stretch out to meet the boundary, sacrifice little offerings of ourselves, and the metamorphosis begins’.

Brody Chipchase (b. 1996, UK) studied BA (Hons) Sculpture, Camberwell College of Arts (2019). Selected exhibitions include Traces, Old Parcels Office, Scarborough (2018); Croaky Throat, Take Courage gallery, New Cross (2019); Degree Show, Camberwell College of Arts (2019). She lives and works in London.

Isobel Finlay (b. 1996, UK) studied BA (Hons) Drawing, Camberwell College of Arts (2019), receiving the Vanguard Court Studio Prize and the Clyde & Co Art Award 2019/2020. Recent group exhibitions include: My House is an Island, Arthousehaus, London; 1001 Sunsets and 1 Eclipse, King’s Arch Gallery, Brighton; Clyde & Co. Art Award 2019/2020, St Boltoph Building, London; Business As Usual: How the 1% Remain Blind to the 6th Mass Extinction, Dean Clough Gallery, Halifax; Tactile, Deptford Does Art, London. She lives and works in London.

The David Troostwyk / Matt’s Gallery Studio Award is awarded to a Camberwell College of Arts BA Sculpture undergraduate and provides the recipient with a year’s free studio, mentoring from Robin Klassnik OBE (founder and Director of Matt’s Gallery) and Camberwell Lecturer Leah Capaldi, and 100 hours workshop access. The award is named after David Troostwyk (b.1926, d.2009) a leading British conceptual artist who taught at Camberwell 1964-89. In 1979, Troostwyk became the first artist to be shown in what was soon to be known internationally as Matt’s Gallery, London.

The David Troostwyk / Matt’s Gallery Studio Award is supported by the David Troostwyk Trust (Barbara Cavanagh, Olivia Cavanagh and Robin Klassnik), Matt’s Gallery and Camberwell UAL. The inaugural recipient was Hannah Skinner.

The Vanguard Prize allows Vanguard Court to help new artists grow and develop and reinforces Vanguard's strong links with Camberwell College of Arts. The prize, launched in 2010, is for graduating students of the College. The winner is offered a year's free studio residence at Vanguard Court along with ongoing mentoring and support from Camberwell College of Arts to help with the development of their personal and professional practice. Previous winners include: Murray O'Grady, Philip Li a.k.a Le Fil, Philip Booth, Lauren Allen, Alexander Devereux, Queenie Clark, Billy Crosby, Rosie Grace Ward and Gwenllian Spink.


Special thanks to

Robin Klassnik, Tim Dixon, Matt’s Gallery
The David Troostwyk Trust (Barbara Cavanagh, Olivia Cavanagh and Robin Klassnik)
Jonathan Shaw
Vanguard Court
Professor Dan Sturgis
Leah Capaldi
Donald Smith, Gaia Giacomelli, Dr Karen Di Franco, Clare Mitten, Chelsea Space


UAL Chelsea College of Arts


UAL Camberwell College of Arts

Matt's Gallery