LIVES AND WORKS
LIVES AND WORKS
Gaye Chapman is an Australian contemporary visual artist | painter of international standing. For over 30 years, she has explored the complexity, inter-connectedness and beauty of the natural world through her multi-disciplinary practice and sustained engagement with geological, historical and organic TIME. Working across painting, drawing, installation and printmaking, she employs diverse materials to explore the land, rivers, weeds, native plants, birds and insects of the Gamilaraay(Kamilaroi) | Wiradjuri country of her childhood.
Chapman's practice has encompassed small works through to large multi panel installations informed by decades of research into the vast historical collections of natural history museums and botanic gardens. Her figurative abstract paintings, framed by ritual, are a process-driven creation + destruction of realism that forces the work back into the abstract contemporary context. She holds a PhD in Contemporary Art – painting by research – from the University Western Sydney for her cross-disciplinary science | art studio practice and research into the decay of exotic weed species. She also holds a Masters degree in Visual Art and Design – painting by research – from the University of New England. She first studied fine art – painting – at The National Art School Wollongong.
Chapman has many major art prizes, scholarships, residencies, collections, commissions and exhibitions to her name, in Australia and overseas, including multiple selected finalist in the: Sir John Sulman, Kedumba Drawing Award, Black Swan Prize for Portraiture, Waterhouse Natural Science, Fisher’s Ghost Art Award, Doug Moran Portrait, Portia Geach Memorial Award, Fleurieu Biennale Landscape, John Glover Landscape, Blake Prize for Religious Art and Archibald Prize Salon des Refusés national and international art prizes. She was appointed Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney Artist in Residence in 2006. In 2009 and 2010 the State Library of NSW purchased over two decades of her aggregated paintings and drawings on paper for the Mitchell Library Collection . She was appointed Artist in Residence + Honorary Associate with the Macleay Museum of Natural History Sydney University in 2010. She is currently exhibiting finalist in the Awagami International Miniature Print Exhibition. Hall of Awa Japanese Handmade Paper Museum. Yoshinogawa City, Japan.
Chapman’s work references the visual languages of historic manuscripts; botanical, scientific and geographic. Her paintings are a palimpsest of multi-layered experiences, their surfaces punctuated with experimental painting | drawing techniques, traditional painting | drawing media, and the Australian landscape of her bush childhood. She spent her childhood in Gamilaraay | Wiradjuri country in Central Western New South Wales, on the banks of the Castlereagh River. Her amateur geologist father, Peter Chapman, took his children on pilgrimages – in particular into the outback gibber deserts – collecting, observing, and identifying rocks, insects, fish, bird and plant specimens; and conducting archaeological shard digs in the historic remnants of white settlement – white man’s middens.
Chapman has travelled widely through outback Australia, drawing throughout the Northern Territory mainland and islands. For the past two decades her work has focused on regular working expeditions and research on the Castlereagh River in Central and Far Western NSW – her childhood ritual games site – and aspects of the adjacent Goonoo country. In recent years she has incorporated the opal mining Gamilaraay | Yuwaalaraay country around Lightning Ridge in Far Western New South Wales; where her father had an opal mine. This intense connection with the land is integral to her painting. Chapman’s work often has long titles, using scientific, botanical and textual references that allow insights to oscillate from the particular to the universal.
WHO I AM
Gaye Chapman, Australian contemporary visual artist | painter
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