Stephen Chambers RA
The Talking Trees Of England
Casanova Selling The National Lottery To Catherine The Great, Two plate etching with chine-collé printed on 300gm Hahnemuhle paper, 38 x 30 cm Edition: 25, 2018
Ringtone, 55 x 62,5 cm, Five-colour lithograph with 24ct gold leaf, 2017, POA
Etchings from the series ‘Stupid Stupid’ (ongoing)
(Prelude to) The Exploration of America, 56 x 70 cm, Six-colour lithograph with chine collé on Somerset paper, Edition of 25 , 2015, POA
Stephen Chambers RA
Elected as an RA in 2005, Stephen is an experienced printmaker. He works with a variety of printing techniques, evident in our most recent publications with him. His work is held in both public and private collections around the world, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, USA; The British Museum, UK; Arts Council Collection, UK and The Victoria and Albert Museum, UK. In 2014 Stephen had a large survey show of his work at Pera Museum in Istanbul in collaboration with the Royal Academy of Arts, London. This exhibition used his monumental print work titled ‘The Big Country’ – a group of screenprints building up a tableau of 4 x 19m – as a point of arrival from which to look back at the work leading to it. He will be putting on another survey show that opens at the Venice Biennale 2017 in the Palazzo Dandolo and then moves to the new Heong Gallery at Downing College, Cambridge in 2018.
‘(Prelude to) The Exploration of America’ also takes its cue from ‘The Big Country’. The American Midwest has been a recurring theme in Stephen’s work. This print looks at human intimacy in the same breath as settlers exploring new lands, an idea with some of its origins in the poem ‘To His Mistress Going To Bed’ by John Donne.
Stephen describes the series of etchings called ‘Stupid, Stupid’ as “undisciplined, visual ramblings, wantonly playing with whimsy”. Dúr means stupid in Irish and Dum, stupid in Scandinavian languages. This ongoing series, comparable in feel with some of his previous intaglio print series, is less beholden to a central theme. These “meanderings” lend the prints a playful demeanour – trees and cows happily become protagonists and nothingness is animated by rich gold leaf patterns. They have a quality that belies their actual size, making little prints big.