Chelsea Hopper (b. 1989, Perth, Australia) studied at Curtin University of Technology, and completed a student exchange at Middlesex University in North London in 2009. She has recently completed her Bachelor of Art (Honours) at Curtin University. Selected group exhibitions include: Curtin Degree Show, Curtin University of Technology, Perth (2010); Grifting, Kurb Gallery, Northbridge (2010), [[[ALL WORK]]], Turnpike Lane, North London (2010), Middlesex Degree Show, Middlesex University, North London (2009), 20×20 (touring), National Art School, RMIT, Melbourne, John Curtin Gallery, Perth (2009). Chelsea has also taken part in a number of arts publications and in 2009 completed an internship at Goddard De Fiddes Gallery, West Perth.
For the last two years or so, Chelsea Hopper has wanted to realise a project on failure. Failure is something fundamental not only to art but to human conduct too. When we speak sometimes we speak our loudest when we mis-communicate.
When things don’t work often something better than expected happens. Exhibitions that fail fascinate the artist. On failing a space is opened up for the viewer, a possibility for dialogue. If something doesn’t work out there is more to talk about, and there is a reason to develop something in the future. If an artist makes a perfect artwork, that moment of perfection is when that artistic practice is no longer of any interest, and there is no point in making more work. As such, the idea of failure informs everything Chelsea does. Her work is informed by the underlying question ‘what is failure?’: and suggests that perhaps failure is when something is incomplete and open to possibilities.
Although this overall notion of failing has become imperative to the artist’s practice, its differing meanings have filtered into ideas of disappointment. In recent times, setting things up to fail has become an important part of Chelsea’s aesthetic. She seeks to deny what people generally want out of art, which is something better than normal things.
Chelsea’s work is attached to the limits of purposefulness. If something is discarded you can read that and see that its been rejected and there is something terribly beautiful in that. Formal things are incredibly important to the artist and to the practice of image making she engages in. One might introduce this topic with the following generalisation: an image comes into being as the result of a process. The process may occur as an indeterminate exercise or as a series of carefully defined tastes. It may occur within the context of everyday life, as in the acting out of an idea.
The artist’s current working methodology often begins with small, quirky and trivial points of departure that instigate a sometimes ridiculous process, manufactured narrative, or un-academic research method that relies heavily on intuition. The outcomes range from quite traditional objects and drawings, to live actions, text and photography, and in a gallery context act as windows into a larger network of encounters, processes and narratives that might otherwise never have been related.