Chatwin : Martin

Peter Chatwin and Pamela Martin, collectively Chatwin : Martin, are driven by a shared fascination for experiences on the edge of knowledge. The work of geologists and biologists, the processes of recording, analysing and proposing theories, captivate their combined imagination. Parallels between the exploration of a scientific and an artistic concept run through their work and they talk of the micro and macro as a central theme. Global forces sit alongside the personal discoveries of individuals in relation to their immediate surroundings. Their work has undergone radical change. Chatwin : Martin began their partnership in 1981, achieving an international reputation for intricately constructed, dyed wood laminate pieces. The break from this period of work came with an explosive sense of delight and a freedom of expression on their first large scale abstract wall pieces. Shifting Planes, in charged energy but Chatwin : Martin are now interpreting a darker side. Specific references are made to volcanic activity, the unpredictability and disruptive power of the earthís crust. This is mirrored in concerns for the effect of disruption in personal spaces and relationships; a withdrawal, a closing in. It is not surprising to find these darker thoughts contained within the relative safety of small square wall panels.

The message is intense, there is no need to shout. Chatwin : Martin continue to work with wood laminate layers, recently experimenting with areas of coloured adshesives; flashes of petroleum-like reflection are exposed during the making process, adding to the sanded and scorched fibrous surfaces. Colours progress from acidic reds, oranges and greens to monotone black squares. These take Chatwin : Martinís skills of abstraction further, distilling their influences and sources to elegant statements which draw us closer and invite us to bring our personal interpretations into the equation.

Julia Pitts




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