Exhibition: Ian Chamberlain – Shift Sands – North Atlantic Wall

Location: Rabley Gallery, Marlborough, Wiltshire

Date: Until 19th December 2020

Details: A collection of new drawings and etchings made 2015 – 2020. The Atlantic Wall is a WWII German defence system built along the west coast of Europe. Chamberlain interprets these brutalist forms as architectural metaphors concerning boundaries and borders.

“I came to Ian Chamberlain’s work on the North Atlantic wall like an explorer, seeking to make sense of a lost civilisation. Decoupled from the sea, his images represent isolated ruins. The structures take on human traits, each with the character and presence of a sophisticated portrait. They are architectural relics, offering up their forms as imagined cultural icons and armoured warriors. Chamberlain scrutinises them with the excitement of Howard Carter finding Tutankhamun’s tomb.

There are fifteen thousand structures on the North Atlantic Wall, four thousand are bunkers, the others batteries. Chamberlain renders the details with acute specificity: observation slots; firing holes; loops of iron for attaching camouflage; pores constructed for specific weaponry. The openings are the eyes and ears of these Brutalist constructions. The walls are cast from concrete with shuttered wood, leaving grain and relief lines of texture to the surface”   Meryl Ainslie, Gallery Director

Rabley Gallery Website

Image credit: Ian Chamberlain