Redonda is a tiny, uninhabited island in the Eastern West Indies, around which an extraordinary literary legend has grown. It first took proper shape as a fantasy in the mind of Matthew Dowdy Shiell, a merchant trader who claimed the island in 1865 and elected himself monarch – effectively building castles in the air that others would add to and populate.
This suite of 8 etchings follow on from work made for a major solo exhibition of new work by Stephen Chambers as a Collateral Event of the 57th International Art Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia, presented by The Heong Gallery at Downing College in the University of Cambridge.
Stephen Chambers is a painter who makes prints. Best known for the meticulously realised yet fundamentally ambiguous scenarios of his paintings, his prints often operate as a kind of physiological counterweight to the control he exercises on canvas.
For Chambers, producing prints encourages the production of more prints. The very processes of their making – the overlapping chains of drawing, biting and proofing encourages a fluent, improvisatory mind-set and back-and-forth between images.
As the artist incises one plate, another is being dipped or proofed. ‘They're made quickly, put into acid, and I'm working on several things at the same time. It's allowing cars to crash, and then trying to rescue mayhem.’
Stephen Chambers lives and works in London. He has produced many collections of prints, several artist books and designed three stage sets for the Royal Ballet, most recently 'This House will Burn' at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. In May 2014 an exhibition covering the last twenty five years work opens at The Pera Museum, Istanbul.
extracts taken from 'The Mechanical Hand: Stephen Chambers' by Martin Herbert