Ian Chamberlain – SHIFTING SANDS – North Atlantic Wall



SHIFTING SANDS – North Atlantic Wall

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

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Meet Ian Chamberlain

On Saturday 5 December  11am – 3.30pm FULLY BOOKED

NEW DATE ADDED Saturday 12 December 11am – 3.30pm

It is currently not possible to host a private view, but we do hope that you will book to join us on this special day with Ian Chamberlain.

“ His central images, a mass of line and dark tone, float in an amorphous white space. Unanchored, their scale is conjecture, their monumentality emphasised. Left in limbo their apparent indestructibility is destabilised.”

Fiona Robinson, artist, writer and currently President of the Royal West of England Academy of Art.


Special Pre Publication BOOK + PRINT Offer


Medium: Etching

Size: Plate size 29 x 32cm. Sheet size 39 x 42cm

Edition of 50

Published 2020

Standing Idle FOLIO Offer


Special Folio Set of 6 Etchings - Titled, signed and numbered.

Plate size 29 x 32cm. Sheet size 39 x 42cm.

Printed on Hahnemuhle white 300gsm.

Published by Rabley Drawing Centre, 2020.


Medium: Etching

Size: 55.5 x 57cm

Edition of 20

Published 2019


Medium: Etching

Size: 59 x 56cm

Edition of 20

Published 2019

View IAN CHAMBERLAIN Artist's Page


Rabley Drawing Centre

Marlborough, Wiltshire, SN8 2LW

T +44 (0)1672 511999

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