British conceptual artist Helen Chadwick embraced the sensuous aspects of the natural world, breaking taboos of the "normal" and "traditional" in art historical pedagogy. Her influence upon a young generation of British artists was cemented through her teaching posts at the Royal College of Art, Chelsea School of Art and the London Institute. Her experiments with material were innovative and unconventional and captured a world in a state of flux. Piss Flowers (1991-92), in which she cast the interior spaces left in the snow by warm urine, are at once revulsive as they are beautiful, and it this combination that typifies Chadwick's work: aesthetic beauty created out of an alliance of unconventional, often vile, materials.
Chadwick was the first women to be nominated for the Turner Prize in 1987. Important solo exhibitions include Wreaths to Pleasure, Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, UK (2012); Helen Chadwick: A Retrospective, Barbican Art Gallery, London; Manchester City Art Gallery, Manchester, UK; Kunstmuseet Trapholt, Kolding, Denmark and Liljevalch Konsthall, Stockholm, Sweden; Bad Blooms, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; Norrköpings Konstmuseum, Norrköpings, Sweden; Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, IN; and Uppsala Konstmuseum, Uppsala, Sweden.
Her 1986 travelling exhibition Of Mutability, which opened at theInstitute of Contemporary Arts, London. is considered a seminal point in the breakthrough of the YBA movement.
Her work is included in the Arts Council Collection; British Council Collection; Tate Collection; National Portrait Gallery; Victoria & Albert Museum and MoMA, NY amongst many others.
The estate of Helen Chadwick is represented by Richard Saltoun Gallery.