Stabiles & Mobiles
1947 - 1952
These early sculptures reveal the awakening of Chadwick's latent desire to construct and manifest 'the vital forces coming from the dark'. They are the delicate beginnings of his route to sculpture, the angular attitudes and playfulness they possess continue throughout the entirety of his work.
Chadwick's first Mobiles and Stabiles are constructed of balsa wood and aluminium wire, which moved effortlessly in the slightest air currant. Initially they were displayed as features on the trade stalls of Aluminium and furniture firms, but in 1949 Chadwick showed a small mobile in the window of Gimpel Fils' Gallery on South Molton street, London. He was offered a solo show at gallery the following year.
1950 proved to further his recognition, as Chadwick was commissioned to make both a large Mobile for the Tower of Jane Drew's riverside restaurant and a large Stabile for Misha Black and Alexander Gibson's Regatta restaurant, both situated on the Southbank.
These sculptures were an integral part of the South Bank's Festival of Britain in 1951. The scale and durability required of these works compelled Chadwick to learn how to weld, a practice which was central to the evolution of his work.