Ian Chamberlain


Ian Chamberlain’s work reinterprets manmade structures as monuments placed within the landscape, acting as architectural metaphors of past and current technological achievements. 

Ian has had a longstanding fascination with technology and architectural forms, these have included structures within industry, agriculture, science and the military. 


There is specific interest in sites of historical significance and Some of the subjects represented are now defunct or have been reconfigured for different uses, the unrelenting pace of technology leaving these monuments behind, technological advancement continually moving forwards. 
Past bodies of works have given a notion of preservation and conservation, considering the work as a graphic historical record. The work then acts as a way in or introduction to these locations and their histories, bringing them back in the cultural imagination. 
Past locations of interest have included Goonhilly Earth station, The Lovell Telescope, The Maunsell Sea Forts, The North Atlantic wall and the Acoustic Sound mirrors. 
Ian is interested in the use of a traditional Print process such as etching being used to record subject matter that is generally at the cutting edge of technology for its time. Etching is a traditional, historic process, certainly not deemed as cutting edge in our digital age having not changed fundamentally over the last 500 years. 
Etching offers a freshness and originality to the work, taking it away from mere direct representation of subject matter and embraces and accepts the idea of the artwork evolving and shifting throughout its creation. The etching process becomes a natural extension of Ian’s drawing practice, offering a diversity of mark making and tone that can capture the form, volume and surface qualities of the structures recorded. 
When back in the studio, working from a distance it creates a dialogue between the original reference material and the print matrix, the mark making and chemical interaction of the etching process pushing the work forwards. The continual erosion of the plate is echoed in the subject matter themselves and in the process used to record it. 


Network I, II and Cellular I (1st state). 
I have been developing a current body of work dealing with communication, focusing on the repetitive design and sculptural qualities of mobile phone masts. A necessary yet controversial structure to allow the ease of communication. 
The ‘Network’ and Cellular etchings are a dichotomy: a celebration of the fast pace the technology and the slow pace of making with the etching process juxtaposing the quick and slow aspects of communication. 
These mundane structures are transformed into powerful symbols representing the omnipresence of modern communication networks, conveying a sense of time, change, and continuity in our digital world. 
They become subjects of artistic inquiry, questioning a deeper reflection on the role of technology and the overlooked infrastructure in our contemporary lives.