Born 1927 Victoria Died 1983 lived in Tasmania throughout his childhood graduating from University of Tasmania.
David exhibited extensively as an artist throughout his life and retired back to Tasmania from Victoria to live at Palmerston Meadows Cressy Tasmania 1974 where many of his wonderful Tasmanian landscape works were executed. His works are held in many state and regional collections.
To view David Chapman’s works three in the exhibition at Longford’s Blenheim Gallery and Garden is to step into a private world of sweet. sweet content. A world in which he has by some gentle alchemy, transmuted the most stunning Tasmanian landscape and scraps of garden views into the pure gold of unalloyed delight.
His paintings, at once delicate and intimate, are the result of a sensitive response to the natural and the ordinary. Such simple things as the rhythm of the days, the wonder of shadows creeping across some steps or the majesty of rocks on a coastal edge.
His Tasmanian works have a celebration of joy, light and happiness. Unlike the body of Victorian works which are more connected to city and domestic life in Melbourne or the occasional trips to the You Yangs near Geelong with Fred Williams his friend and artist, or towards Lake Eildon.
For all their joy and tenderness however, these paintings are neither sentimental nor anecdotal, they are freely jotted and immediate notations of the artist’s intense awareness and pleasure in, his physical surroundings, as well as his whole situation. Seismographic records, if you like. of what it is like to live quietly and happily with your family, in the beautiful countryside of northern Tasmania.
His method of work is to flatten everything into a succession of shapes that make up both an irregular surface pattern and a recognisable subject world, which, oblivious of the constraints of traditional perspective. rises up the plane of the canvas.
These shapes are filled in with a rich and unpredictable juxta positioning of colours. Far from being imitations of the local colour they are chosen to create an intricate harmony based on the feeling of the subject. Altogether a different thing.
These works are at once a celebration of being alive when they were painted and a demonstration of the virtue of a philosophical detachment from the whips of desire and the scramble for what the world calls success.