Helen Chadwick

Helen Chadwick’s Ego geometrica sum (1982-3)


‘….she believed the objects of knowledge become part of one’s being’. Marina Warner describes Helen Chadwick’s process.  In Ego Geometrica Sum (EGS) – Chadwick uses developments of simple mathematical forms, made in plywood with images created from exposed photo emulsion painted on the plywood. These forms are based on objects symbolising a stage of childhood or life and the images reflect that. Chadwick seems to propose that these objects and images are ‘fugitive traces’ or memories of the passage of time and describe the effect of these ideal forms on a vulnerable child. The human form included is specific but also generalised, this is a collective social experience rather than Chadwicks’ unique vision.


This is a useful reference for me.  The connection of abstract form with images as metaphors for memory is close to how the printed furniture objects might work.  The subject matter works as bridge between a specific personal experience and a shared collective feeling.

Warner, M (2004) in Sladen, M (2004) Helen Chadwick. London: Barbican.

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