‘Chambers’ work is strikingly relevant because he takes the familiar and puts it on a bigger scale. The personal and the universal are stories closely weaved and inextricably bound...’ Lucy Binnersley, The London Magazine
The Heong Gallery at Downing College, University of Cambridge, is delighted to announce the UK presentation of The Court of Redonda – a major solo exhibition by Stephen Chambers RA, following its highly acclaimed unveiling as a Collateral Event of the 2017 Venice Biennale.
The Court of Redonda is a vast collective portrait of an imaginary court of maverick and singular individuals. The installation of 101 paintings articulates the role played by artists in envisaging a world not how it is, but how it could be. Featuring subjects drawn from different epochs and cultures and hung with reference to historic portrait collections, the court imagines a utopian society that celebrates the creative and idiosyncratic.
The Court of Redonda is inspired by a literary legend that has developed around a tiny, uninhabited island in the Caribbean Sea. Redonda was claimed in 1865 by a merchant trader who established an honorary monarchy that has been passed down to the present through a literary lineage. Collisions in fact and fiction about the island are described by the novelist Javier Marías, who was until recently a King of Redonda. Sparked by a ‘mental collaboration’ with Marías, who appointed many notable writers and artists to his imaginary court, Chambers has created a collective of individuals, where creativity is honoured over hereditary privilege.
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