Marvin Gaye Chetwynd – Artist Talk

sculpture of Jabba the Hutt constructed from cardboard

Words : Kate Dunstone
Image :

As part of Unit X’s opening lectures Turner prize-nominated artist Marvin Gaye Chetwynd gave students from across the project a tour of her work. Beginning with her 2004 piece ‘An Evening with Jabba the Hutt’ Marvin gave anecdotal background to her work, explaining how the participants inform her work, and her love for hand making.

As a performance-based artist Marvin focused on her approach documenting her work, demonstrating how her style of documentation developed between projects. Although not a filmmaker she credits the Marx Brothers, Mae West and Pasolini as inspirations, informing the tone of her performance films, although she also acknowledges the spontaneous aspect of documentation, commenting that sometimes it comes down to ‘bothering to have a camera while you’re [working]’.

Overall it was Marvin’s enthusiasm for her work that was most apparent, from her love of making props by hand to the motivation behind her work (‘I want to make myself smile!’). And I know I found her enthusiasm contagious!

You can watch videos of Marvin’s work on ubuweb, and see her on the BBC series ‘What Do Artists Do All Day?’ this Thursday, 13th March.


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