Shack Life, 2003
Stephen Chambers RA
RA Collection: Art
Shack Life is based on a memory of a shot from the film Pirosmani (dir. Georgi Shengelaia, 1971), about the primitive Georgian painter Niko Pirosmani. In the words of the artist ‘it’s a very beautifully-made film, and full of the truth about making art, which is very rare’. The print shows Pirosmani (identifiable by his large hat) in an interior (possibly the shop he owns), bare but for a table and light. A window looks out onto a house behind.
Chambers has made hundreds of prints, the majority of which are monotypes (see for example the 2005 suite of prints on Venetian subjects which resulted in his exhibition 'The Martyrdom of St Ursula' at the Flowers gallery. This print is an etching with chine collé attached (overlaid sheets of paper). There are twenty prints in the edition (Chambers rarely makes prints in editions of more than twenty-five), although this is an artist’s proof.
Shack Life was submitted by Chambers as his Diploma Work in 2007, along with three other prints which he presented to the Academy. One of these, The Demonstrator (also 2003) is, like Shack Life, an etching of a single figure in a bare, box-like room. In 2008 Shack Life was shown in two exhibitions of Chambers’ prints, in the Friends’ Room of the RA and in the art gallery of Northumbria University.
Chambers has noted similarities between his etching and painting—in both cases he maintains a figure and background opposition rather than layering and accumulating his surfaces.
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