Christina Chalmers - Paintings

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Christina Chalmers - Paintings

ARTIST STATEMENT

“You are the fiery life of divine substance, you blaze above the beauty of the fields, you shine in the waters, you burn in sun, moon and stars.” -- Hildegard Von Bingen

“In archetypal symbolism, clothing represents persona, a kind of camouflage which lets others know only what we wish them to know about us and nothing more. We are often "clothed" in our own private illusions of ourselves…power, money, success, pleasure, but there is really no substance to this "clothing"; it only cloaks what is deep inside and invisible... the creative, unique and mysterious inner self. This work is about that with which we clothe ourselves and the "human divinity" or true self which lies hidden beneath.

During the winters, I live on a farm in the south of France in a wilderness area of flamingos and wild white horses near the Mediterranean Sea. My studio is in an old barn, and there, I found a trunk filled with carefully folded, very old clothes. They were delicate and all hand-sewn, with lace and embroidery done in painfully small and labored stitching.

I also found an old journal with fragile, transparent pages dated one hundred years ago. On and near the farm, I took photographs of things in nature, things especially fragile and vulnerable. I printed my photographs onto some of the old fabrics and the pages of the journal and made drawings of sacred geometry on others to put into the paintings. These things inspired me and have become a part of my work in recent years.

Everyday, as I opened the trunk, I felt somewhat like an archeologist violating an Egyptian tomb, and as I worked with the fabrics, carefully undoing the tiny stitches, I imagined the lives of the women who had made them. After working, I reverently re-folded each cloth and placed it in the trunk as if each were a raiment, a holy vestment, a shroud, and I felt as if I had somehow participated in both the grief and beauty of someone's life.

Each of my paintings is a small, personal epic. Each garment image is a cloak, which shelters a universe luminous, spacious, incalculably rich and truly vulnerable. Finally, for me, there is this question: "Does the light descend from the sky or rise out of us?"

Christina Chalmers

 

ARTIST BIOGRAPHY

CHRISTINA CHALMERS
BORN 1948, Madison, West Virginia

Christina Chalmers is a mixed media artist that works between and often integrates several media including painting, sculpture, video, photography, and installation in her nature inspired pieces.  In need of movement and change, Chalmers is based in Santa Fe, NM but also maintains studios in Mendocino, CA and Camargue, France.  Each of her homes presents a crucial interaction with distinct materials and landscapes that progress her intuitive creative process.  Dominant motifs in Christina’s work are often everyday objects such as dresses, birds, books, and flowers that she coats in greater potency by using found organic objects, vintage lace and textiles, handmade felt, antique manufactured hardware, reused books and diaries, beeswax, lead, copper, and paint.  In her multi-dimensional works, themes of passion, interrelation, migration, nature and, human divinity revolve and reappear.

 Her experiences as a fine art weaver, a Waldorf and public school educator in California, an arts collective founder and organizer in Santa Barbara, and a set designer in Los Angeles and New York City have all found their place in her contemporary work as well.   There is a creative fearlessness as well as theatricality that permeates her sculpture and video work.  Chalmers juxtaposes fragile and strong materials to metaphorically present the differences in male and female roles throughout history. 

The layered allusions in her work reflect the eclecticism of her inspiration; she equally draws on the work of artist Joseph Bueys, writer and activist James Agee, director Andrei Tarkovsky, composer Arvo Part, photographer Walker Evans, and naturalist, educator, and anthroposophist Rudolf Steiner. 

Chalmers was born in West Virginia and grew up in Iowa where she earned an MA from the University of Iowa.  Her work has been widely exhibited throughout the U.S. and Europe including exhibitions at Deitch Projects and the Alternative Museum of NYC, Orange County Center for the Contemporary Arts of CA and is represented by the Selby Fleetwood Gallery in Santa Fe, NM.

 

eDUCATION

1984 MA in Art & Education, Rudolf Steiner College, Sacramento, CA
1969 BA in Art & Literature, University of Iowa

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS

2011 Selby Fleetwood Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
2011 Roberge Fine Art, Palm Desert, CA
2011 Deitch Projects, New York City, NY
2010 Selby Fleetwood Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
2009 Selby Fleetwood Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
2008 Selby Fleetwood Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
2008 Deitch Projects, NYC, NY
2007 Selby Fleetwood Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
2007 Box Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
2007 Walker Fine Art, Denver, CO
2006 Selby Fleetwood Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
2006 Art & Soul Gallery, Boulder, CO
2006 HTC Gallery, Minneapolis, MN
2006 Walker Fine Art, Denver, CO
2005 Selby Fleetwood Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
2005 HTC Gallery, Minneapolis, MN
2005 Walker Fine Art, Denver, CO
2004 Walker Fine Art, Denver, CO
2003 Gallerie di Fontesseca, Spoleto, Italy
2003 Walker Fine Art, Denver, CO
2003 Art & Soul Gallery, Boulder, CO
2003 Mas d’Icard, Provence, France
2002 Deloney Newkirk Fine Art, Santa Fe, NM
2002 HTC Gallery, Minneapolis, MN
2001 Art & Soul Gallery, Boulder, CO
2001 Façade Gallery, Paris, France
2001 Chiaroscuro Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ
2001 RVS Fine Art, Southampton, NY
2001 Studio Arte Gallerie, Spoleto, Italy
2000 RVS Fine Art, Southampton, NY
2000 Walker Fine Art & Design, Denver, CO
2000 Port Jackson Fine Art, Laguna Beach, CA
1999 Deloney Newkirk Fine Art, Santa Fe, NM
1999 Lumina Gallery, Taos, NM
1999 Port Jackson Fine Art, Laguna Beach, CA
1999 Ramscale Art Assoc., New York City, NY
1999 HTC Gallery, Minneapolis, MN
1999 Studio Art Gallerie, Spoleto, Italy
1998 Deloney Newkirk Fine Art, Santa Fe, NM
1998 Trinity Gallery, Atlanta, GA
1998 Port Jackson Fine Art, Laguna Beach, CA
1998 Bobbi Walker Fine Art, Denver, CO
1998 Lumina Gallery, Taos, NM
1998 HTC Design, Minneapolis, MN
1997 Gallerie Fonte Seca, Spoleto, Italy
1997 HTC Design, Minneapolis, MN
1997 Suzanne Brown Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ
1997 Deloney Newkirk Fine Art, Santa Fe, NM
1996 Orange County CCA, Newport Beach, CA
1996 Sloan Jordan Gallery, Austin, TX
1996 Suzanne Brown Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ
1996 Deloney Newkirk Fine Art, Santa Fe, NM
1995 Lifetime Television, New York City, NY
1995 Deloney Newkirk Fine Art, Santa Fe, NM
1995 La Sol Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA
1994 Art Soup Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA
1994 Woman Made Gallery, Chicago, IL
1993 Sculpture, NBC Television, NYC, NY
1992 Ruth Bachofner Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
1991 Alternative Museum, New York City, NY
1991 Art Soup Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA
1990 UC Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA
1990 Atkinson Gallery, City College, Santa Barbara, CA

 

PUBLICATIONS

2009 Art News
2009 Santa Fean
2007 American Art Collector 
2006 American Art Collector 
2000 Focus Santa Fe 
1998 Focus Santa Fe 
1997 Pasatiempo

COLLECTIONS

La Posada Resort Hotel, SFe, NM
George Michael, London, England
Midwest Wireless Corp, Minneapolis, MN
Hutchinson Telecommunication, Minneapolis, MN


awards and honors

 Orange County Center for Contemporary Art, First place award 
Westmont College, First Place Award
Santa Monica Museum, Top Ten Artists of So. California
Purdue University, Southwestern Women Artists Award