"Traces Remain" "Venice: Into Dreams"
|Original prints, with Geoff Chaplin's signature and edition notations|
Copyright (c) Geoff Chaplin All Rights Reserved
“Traces Remain” asks the question “what counts as survival?” – is it our body, our personality, our thoughts? Or is it the things we make – concrete (for example buildings) or abstract (language, music, science)? Or, indeed, does human survival in any form matter? The series begins at personal level and looks back through former generations and human development before returning to more modern times and our legacy. Largely pinhole imagery is drawn from around the world and is presented as pigment prints, cyanotype and gum prints. The title is inspired by a recent book by Charles Nicholl and classical music by Colin Matthews.
The “Venice into Dreams” series reflects the visual images I see when falling asleep – passing from relatively clear and distinct to increasingly abstract and illogical, and is accompanied by quotes from Shakespeare and Lewis Carrol.
Geoff Chaplin is a British born artist brought up in Leicestershire, in the Midlands, and currently living and working in Hokkaido, Japan. When he was a child his father - a painter - used to take him sketching and painting in the countryside. This installed from an early age an understanding of composition, colour and graphic elements as well as building his observational skills and sparking a lifelong interest in nature. In his school years he built a large-format camera (using glass photographic plates) to photograph a comet and the night sky, and has been using cameras ever since. "I studied maths at Cambridge then Oxford and did post-doctoral research in astro-physics. My dream was to become a research scientist. That didn't happen but on the way I picked up a training in scientific photography which reinforced my interest in photography generally and art." Family pressures forced him to take a job in finance. While working at major investment banks such as HSBC, Nomura and Mizuho he also had a semi-professional interest in photography.
In his photographic work he continues to use large and ultra-large format cameras - the type with bellows, a black cloth cover and a focusing screen on the back - as well as medium and 35mm format film and digital cameras, and in addition he uses lensless "pinhole" cameras.
Geoff’s themes relate to human presence and to non-permanence. Subject matter includes decaying buildings and materials particularly rusting steel panels (the "Moon Star" series), buildings in Hokkaido, Venice and London, and conceptual series such as "Venice: Into Dreams" and "Traces Remain".
A selection of original prints are on permanent display in the Hokkaido gallery, and there is an annual themed exhibition in London, together with regular exhibitions in Japan, the UK, Europe and elsewhere.
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