Brian Dawn Chalkley

Upcoming exhibition
The untold depth of savagery

'The untold depth of savagery' (2020)

Brian Dawn Chalkley draws, paints, makes films, dresses up, performs and writes monologues. A great chronicler of contemporary life, the stories she has to tell take place in seedy hotel rooms, lonely apartments, in bars and sex clubs and patches of woodland.

The work is full of character, and the character is Dawn’s best invention. In her work Dawn tackles subjects that are universally human: identity, gender, social status and sexuality drawing us in with wit, affecting sentiment and nostalgia as well as, at times, repression, fear and anger.

For her debut show at the gallery, Missing, in December 2018 the artist created a series of new works over a 12 month period that continues their engagement with problems of identity and subjecthood resulting in 454 portraits, each one from imagination and presented in a grid like formation covering the walls of the gallery from floor to ceiling.

Working with watercolours on wet paper the portraits appear unrecognisable and androgynous. Ultimately, the faces do not figure under a unifying theme or have anything in common, the body of work produced for this exhibition demonstrates the conditional and relational nature of identity, that the subject is comprised of the many people in one’s life.

Most recently Dawn applies the seductive qualities of handmade craft such as embroidery, portraits, handwritten and stitched texts adorn pillow cases and fabric sought from local markets. Dawn's alluring embroidery takes an art form traditionally associated with historical allegorical art to elevate the commonplace dramas of modern life.

Brian Dawn Chalkley lives and works in London.

Brian Dawn Chalkley draws, paints, makes films, dresses up, performs and writes monologues.

The stories she has to tell take place in seedy hotel rooms, lonely apartments, in bars and sex clubs and patches of woodland. Obsession, repression, sexual fantasy, secrets, solitude and a very bleak kind of humour are among the artist’s subjects. The work is full of character, and the character is the artist’s best invention.

The question is not so much who to be today, or what story to tell one-self, so much as whether to hoover or to shoot oneself. The frock is on the hanger, and the revolver is on the table.

Looking at Brian Dawn's work I ask myself who is the stalker, who is the stalked?

Adrian Searle
Guardian Critic

Brian Dawn Chalkley: CV - Download

LUNGLEY Exhibitions:
Brian Dawn Chalkley: Missing - Press Release


Missing

Untitled [Missing] (2018)
Watercolour on paper. 21.0 × 29.7cm.

Untitled [Missing] (2018)
Watercolour on paper. 21.0 × 29.7cm.

Untitled [Missing] (2018)
Watercolour on paper. 21.0 × 29.7cm.

Untitled [Missing] (2018)
Watercolour on paper. 21.0 × 29.7cm.

Untitled [Missing] (2018)
Watercolour on paper. 21.0 × 29.7cm.

Untitled [Missing] (2018)
Watercolour on paper. 21.0 × 29.7cm.

Untitled [Missing] (2018)
Watercolour on paper. 21.0 × 29.7cm.

Untitled [Missing] (2018)
Watercolour on paper. 21.0 × 29.7cm.

Untitled [Missing] (2018)
Watercolour on paper. 21.0 × 29.7cm.

Life is so good to me right now [Missing] (2018)
Watercolour on paper. 21.0 × 29.7cm.

All I want is boundless love! [Missing] (2018)
Watercolour on paper. 21.0 × 29.7cm.

You really fuck me off big time [Missing] (2018)
Watercolour on paper. 21.0 × 29.7cm.

I am longing for everything that will make me happy [Missing] (2018)
Watercolour on paper. 21.0 × 29.7cm.

I just get so fucked off with everything in my life [Missing] (2018)
Watercolour on paper. 21.0 × 29.7cm.

I know how it looks, but its not like that [Missing] (2018)
Watercolour on paper. 21.0 × 29.7cm.


Female Trouble

Everything I'm not, I'm becoming
Watercolour on paper. 42 x 59cm.

'For me fairy tales are still relevant in the modern world. Everyday when I get up in the morning it's like I'm in one'
Watercolour on paper. 42 x 59cm.

'I once had a bad motorcycle accident. I declined surgery because I didn't want anybody to touch my brain'
Watercolour on paper. 42 x 59cm.

'I was so excited I had the chance to do one of those scenes. Like it was really scary and a challenge but you just know it's going to go down in cult history'
Watercolour on paper. 42 x 59cm.

'I was young and didn't know the in's and out's of things. I was very instictive'
Watercolour on paper. 42 x 59cm.

'I've been eally drawn into hypnosis and cults, where you can get into ths alternative mind frame'
Watercolour on paper. 42 x 59cm.

'Life was so exciting on the highways. Now I just feel disenfranchised from everything'
Watercolour on paper. 42 x 59cm.

'My whole life I've wanted to feel comfortable in my skin. It's the most liberating thing in the world'
Watercolour on paper. 42 x 59cm.

'My dreams get crushed on a regular basis. I guess that's down to the life I'm living'
Watercolour on paper. 42 x 59cm.

'Some scripts have the woman coming back on all fours - but I'm like; 'What man wants that woman?' The woman had got to maintain her integrity, she's gotta maintain her balls'
Watercolour on paper. 42 x 59cm.

'People are curious. I get that but I don't want people to know everything about me'
Watercolour on paper. 42 x 59cm.

'Sex is the only thing I believe in; suddenly it all made sense some how'
Watercolour on paper. 42 x 59cm.

'Every now and then Iget a jolt of panic because I am dealing with peopl's lives and they rey on me'
Watercolour on paper. 42 x 59cm.