Overview

Stephen Chambers studied at Winchester School of Art from 1978 to 1979 and then at St Martin’s School of Art from 1979 to 1982. He graduated with a Masters from Chelsea School of Art in 1983. Chambers has won many scholarships and awards, including a Rome Scholarship, a Fellowship at Winchester School of Art, and a Mark Rothko Memorial Trust Travelling Award. Besides his painting and printmaking, Chambers has also collaborated on three dance projects with the Royal Ballet: Sleeping with Audrey (1996), Room of Cooks (1997, 1999) and This House Will Burn (2001). Chambers has said that his work “speaks of states of mind, behaviours and sensibilities”, and critics have praised his use of colour. Chambers’ most recent major project is The Court of Redonda, a large portrait series shown first in Venice during the 2017 Biennale, and subsequently at The Heong Gallery at Downing College, Cambridge. Chambers has a long association with Downing College, having been Artist in Residence at Kettle’s Yard in 1998. He also received an Honorary Fellowship from Downing College in 2016.

 

The artist’s work hovers between abstract and figurative, minimal and decorative, where colourful images of figures are held in a kind of suspended animation. His paintings speak of states of mind, behaviours and sensibilities which disrupt natural laws (like gravity) and fashion a very personal poetic language. He wants to develop a curiosity in his viewer, to seduce, to suggest ideas and thoughts, to evoke a sense of recognition in the imagination. He wants us to experience the 'feeling' of his painting, his own personal experiences, his fears, his memories of childishness tinged with a darker adult knowing. His paintings are a feast for the imagination but are also exquisitely crafted. Relying on flat planes of intense, seductive colour and pattern, their sheer beauty pulls us into his strange and complex world.

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