The Meat Abstracts are a series of 8 large format Polaroid photographs which Chadwick made at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London in 1989. Chadwick laid materials such as suede, silk and wood veneer onto a tabletop, creating a field on which she then arranged medleys of meat and offal, brought together with light bulbs and gilded spheres. The resulting still-lifes were photographed from above, resulting in images characterized by shallow depth and sharp focus.
The series marks Chadwick’s move away from traditional forms of self-representation and speaking of them she says: ‘I felt compelled to use materials that were still bodily, that were still a kind of self-portrait, but did not rely on the representation of my own body.’
Helen Chadwick: Works from the Estate, Richard Saltoun Gallery, London, 2013