Meet the Others: Linda Chapman
The Game Changers. The Rule Breakers. The Innovators. Discover some of the fantastic emerging talent showcasing their work at The Other Art Fair.
The Other Art Fair London exhibitor Linda Chapman is inspired by one of the most simple aspects of nature that surrounds us – Light! Her creative photographs are orchestrated to take advantage of natural reflections and refractions and the patterns and geometrics they produce. Read on to discover more about Linda’s process and her pieces of advice for fellow artists.
Tell us about who you are and what you do. What is your background?
As a child I was only happy doing something creative.being creative was always an adventure, discovering new techniques, colours, always looking for the beauty in something. However most of all, I was enchanted by light. It’s freedom, the colours I could see and the shadows it produced.
Unfortunately my school took the view that art was an insignificant subject and not to be taken seriously! Being slightly stubborn, I still studied photography when I left school.
After graduation, I decided that being a commercial photographer was the safer and more practical option. So I sought my creative photographic adventures from other people like theatre, fashion and music for some while.
Somewhere along the line, I realised that I had lost myself and my own creative feelings. It took another two years to find the courage to create what was mine again. I went back to the beginning and explored my love of light and gradually I started to “see” again!
I wanted to get away from the modern constructed image on a computer and use what was natural to an image, light! I experimented with this for sometime, breaking down what light holds, what it is capable of. I took thousands of images and explored at length the colours within these. I had always been nervous of colour, never knowing how to really use it before, but now I had found my freedom again and self expression. Soon after this I decided to give up my job and concentrate on making my own artworks.
If you could describe your work in 3 words, what would they be?
Abstract – Light – Colour
Can you walk us through your process? How do you know when an artwork finished?
The theory of light and it’s habits of refraction, although difficult to follow, if you don’t have that kind of mind, are in my opinion far more exciting seeing the results in an artwork! Basically light slows down when it passes through glass, this causes it to change direction, causing refraction, hence I do most of my work with glass. Some colours refract more than others, this is what I like exploring in my art, nature is incredibly clever! Add to this the beauty of how light changes at different times of day and with different seasons and you can have amazing colours and shapes.
The more I search the streets watching, the more my eyes get acquainted with the character of the light and I am able to work out exactly what I want and how the image should look.
Once I find an image, I capture it on my camera, no filters, no special effects, I want natural perfection. Back home, when I print the images, there is no Photoshop or manipulation, just a little added contrast to highlight to the viewer exactly what I can see. Once I have done that, it is finished when I feel the same feeling I had when taking it.
Has being in isolation affected your artwork practice in any way?
I guess like so many people, I’ve found it quite difficult at times and especially where my artwork is concerned as I work outdoors and need natural light, a lot of which I missed during the summer. With certain things easing, I have at least now been able to get out and do a fair bit of new work.
However I really missed being out there at the art fairs, the interaction with art lovers and fellow artists is invaluable and a great community. Then just when I was feeling down about that, I received an email congratulating me on winning the Fujifilm Photo Yearbook Award! I was over the moon and felt very appreciated. This was a great boost to bring back positivity to my working day.
What is the best advice given to you as an artist?
It wasn’t so much given to me but there were a few things that really helped me. A long time ago I found a quote from an artist I admire, Georgia O’Keeffe – ‘I found I could say things with colour and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way, things I had no words for.’ before I found this I had always said that I can’t do words, I do pictures!
Another quote was from the American philosopher Henry Thoreau – ‘The question is not what you look at, but what you see’.
Lastly, something that came just when I was thinking about leaving my job and doing my own artwork was an interview I saw with one of the most famous creative people, David Bowie. He talked about how an artist shouldn’t work for someone else otherwise you will lose the meaning of why you wanted to do it in the first place. How it was dangerous for an artist to fulfill other peoples expectations, because then they produce their worst work. All of these sounded familiar to me and especially when he said that if you feel safe, you are not in the right area. Always go a little further out of your depth and when you feel you are not quite touching the bottom, you are just about in the right place to do something exciting and that is really coming from deep down within yourself.
Can you tell us something about you that people would be surprised to hear?
I suppose one of the most surprising things related to my work, is that at the start of my career I was a finalist in a black and white portrait award at the Victoria and Albert museum. How things have changed!!
Shop artwork by Linda and other trailblazing artists at The Other Art Fair’s Online Studios.
Introducing The Other Art Fair Online Studios, a new online platform offering art lovers around the world access to over 800 Fair artists. The Online Studios will keep our community feeling inspired, engaged, and continue to spread joy through art.