I recently visited the Fry Gallery in Saffron Walden to see their latest exhibition based on one of the Great Bardfield set – George Chapman.
Chapman is known primarily for his visual art of the Rhondda valley where he moved to in the 1950s from Great Bardfield. This is how I knew of him but I was keen to see his earlier work, that which was affected by the artists he surrounded himself with when he lived in Great Bardfield. I was particularly liked his illustrative work on advertising posters and his use of mixed media. He had an enormous range of styles and to be honest, I loved them all. But I can see why he is most revered for his mono chromatic images of the landscape and daily life of the Rhondda valley. His subtle use of just one pale colour to give weight to the black and white landscapes still have an illustrative feel. He wasn’t trying to be political or make a statement about his surroundings (although many people felt he was), he just expressed his art and vision in a way that was comfortable to him.
Here are a few images from the exhibition catalogue. I shall be looking out for more of his work in the future. Really inspiring!
Weathercock, Poster, Courtesy of the Shell Heritage Art Collection
Epping, Central Line Extension, Poster, 1949 for Transport for London, London Transport Museum Collection