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We featured the work of Catherine Chambers, a London/Lalibela based artist, in our Summer 2018 News File after one of her paintings, Girma, was accepted for the Royal Academy of Arts Summer Show.

The Ethiopian Embassy in London hosted I Appreciate You, an exhibition of her work, in September 2019.

Catherine is now selling some of the preparatory sketches for her Ethiopian paintings as part of the Artist Support Pledge, an initiative started by artist Mathew Burrows.

"Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many artists around the world have found themselves without work, teaching, technical support, exhibitions and sales have disappeared. In an attempt to help aliviate some of this stress @matthewburrowsstudio has instigated the #artistsupportpledge.

The concept is artists offer works to sell for no more than £200 each (not including shipping). Anyone can then buy the work. Every time the artist reaches £1000 of sales, the artist pledges to buy another artist's work for £200."

More details of the campaign can be found on the @artistsupportpledge Instagram page.

The works Catherine is offering are all original pencil or pen drawings, most made to plan her paintings, and are exhibited below. Be careful, clicking on the pictures brings up a high resolution image and some are quite large (up to 6.4 MB). More details can be found on Catherine's @CChambersart Instagram page. For more information please email Catherine Chambers.

And remember, on Tuesday 21 July Catherine and Laurence Impey will be chatting about their experiences of living and working in Lalibela. You can book for this talk here - note that we may have to move this to an online event.

1.   Yeabsra Growing Up – plan 1. Initial drawing for new Yeabsra oil painting (currently a work in progress!)                SOLD

A4 size, Colour pencil

This drawing is a plan for my fourth painting of Yeabsra. During my last visit to Ethiopia, Yeabsra had begun preparing the coffee ceremonies – this felt like a significant growing up moment. As I took photos she started playing to the camera, she altered her pose to match the women on posters of coffee ceremonies (which are printed on large glossy paper bought at market and on walls of cafés and homes throughout Ethiopia.) Yeabsra was wearing her Barcelona top that had been collected in London as donations.
I'd also bought some coffee cups from market to add to my collection and had noticed, on the bottom of one (that had the popular Haille Selassie flag) was printed "Made in China".
It sums up so much of what my work considers; influences, connections, lasting impressions.


2.   Yeabsra Growing Up – Plan 2 (With Trees)            SOLD

A3 paper, (drawing slightly larger than A4), Coloured pencil

Same story as above but for the painting I want to take a different direction; Yeabsra will become a poster girl, intending for a high gloss finish and white frame to mimic the borders of the posters bought from the market. That being so I was trying to 'simplify the background. Plan 2 and 3 consider whether I should include trees.


3.   Yeabsra Growing Up – Plan 3  (No Trees)               SOLD

A3 paper, (drawing slightly larger than A4), Coloured pencil


4.   Yeabsra Growing Up – Plan for Icons Series        £200

A3 paper, (drawing 29.5x28cm), Coloured pencil

In this drawing the story goes further, a tourist is sat watching my photoshoot with Yeabsra. Making the romantic, remote town of Lalibela, less remote! This is the start of a new icon I will create which I'm particularly excited about!


5.   Girma – Icon Plan                                SOLD

A3 paper, (drawing 19.5x24cm), Coloured pencil

My original painting of Girma was exhibited at the 2018 Royal Academy Summer Show of Arts and now belongs to a private collector.
This drawing was created afterwards, playing with simplifying the design for my Icon titled 'More or Less'


6.   Girma Standing                                   £190

A3 paper, Coloured pencil 

This has never become a painting, but instead it is stored as a character ready to use. Girma appears in a few of my works now, and no doubt this figure will appear in a future work –( I imagine more likely in a series like my 'A Brothers Progress')


7.   Self Portrait – First draft for new painting!             £190

A4 paper, coloured pencil

I am often asked what is my connection to Ethiopia, and recently I have begun to shyly introduce myself into some works. This is the first plan for a self portrait (I aim to paint in the next month) It's in the early stages, and is a particularly sensitive painting to me.


8.   Hama Tuma – Portrait Plan                                     £190

A3 paper, (drawing 20x23cm), Coloured pencil 

Plans for the portrait of Hama Tuma, you have probably already heard me sing his praises – if you haven't read his books, I can't recommend them enough.
After visiting my studio (probably to suss me out), he agreed to have me paint his portrait. I visited him in Paris to gather ideas, and then the plan was to have Hama sit for me in London for the final stage of his portrait. I was working on the painting before the virus, and getting a bit ahead of myself, I switched to these drawings rather than finishing the portrait without Hama present!
This is a simplified version – I wanted to highlight the things that appeared most precious to Hama; his wife (photo on wall) and writing (at his laptop).


9.   Hama Tuma – Pen portrait          £190

A3 paper, (drawing 19x25cm), black fineliner pen 

Another plan towards Hama Tuma's portrait.

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