26 February – 8 May 2018
Café Project #28 features the work of artist Sebastian Chaumeton, currently in his 2nd year of BA Fine Art at Chelsea College of Arts.
The following questions were posed to the artist:
What is your background in art and how has your practice been influenced by the BA Fine Art course so far?
In short, I did the whole school thing, graduated from a foundation course at Oxford Brookes then found my way to Chelsea. My practice has developed physically on the BA Fine Art course, and also theoretically. The course has given me numerous opportunities to learn, be it in crits [critical feedback sessions on artworks], lectures, exhibitions and tutorials. The workshops have especially given me the skills to execute my ideas. I can’t believe I’m over half way through my time here and cannot wait to see what the rest of this year and third year have in stall for me.
Can you please describe the process of making the mural.
It was as simple as sending a few emails, filling out a health & safety form, attempting to rent a ladder, renewing my ladder safety, renting out a ladder, and starting. I juggled a few ideas around but eventually settled on a blue based work as I liked the idea of pulling the sky down into the wall. I also thought that it would complement the orange/red brick work of the college buildings. The making process was a series of acrylic layers, the first being a variety of blues on which the line work would sit. A subsequent transparent acrylic medium was added for the shadows, as a watered-down blue would drip. Highlights then followed, and finally the line work was painted back on top of the overlaps that had formed. This all happened over the course of two bitterly cold weeks in January-February 2018. Gloves and regular cups of tea were needed.
You use recognisable pop-culture characters within your work, what other forms make up your compositions and how do you decide on them?
The premise of the mural was a collaborative/interactive performance. Next to the mural I stuck a couple of sheets of paper on which passers-by were encouraged to scribble ideas for the wall. This being my first large public work I decided to make the initial question very open to try and limit my influence: ‘write down something…’. I like to think that the wall painted itself in that once the line work began, a back and forth was formed between my brush and the crayon people were using to write down their requests. The imagery would influence the text and the text would reflect the imagery. People could write down anything, so this wasn’t always the case. I acted as a loose filter, sometimes painting exactly what was written or suggested in conversation, occasionally fusing elements or working from ambiguous writings such as ‘teen angst’ and ‘me’. The mural is a visual throwing-up of collective thought. Due to this pop-culture and politics are thrown into the mix alongside absurd fusions like, a pole dancing snoopy and a Fosters drinking shark wearing a Viking helmet. I isolate interesting elements within the paintings that evoke meanings, be it political, popular, or humorous to be realised in alternate mediums. I act as a control within an out of control fusion of forms. This yellow painting presented within the café is born from my own conscience and sub-conscience thought and feelings, however I find it interesting to relinquish responsibility of the imagery. In the future I’d like to consider alternate starting questions for different public sites.
To view the time lapse video of Sebastian Chaumeton painting the mural click here.
Artists’ Exhibition History
Milk It – Collaborative curation and exhibition in a shop in Marylebone, April 2017; Cook House – Collaborative curation at the Cook House Gallery, Chelsea College of Arts, December 2016; Laboratorium – Collaborative curation and off site exhibition of work at the Ovada Space, Oxford, February 2016 within the Oxford Mail; Natural History Museum (Oxford) – Created illustrations to be used by the Education Department within exhibits at the NHM as well as the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford; Museum of the History of Science – Commissioned work for an in-house sketchbook on the Museum’s artefacts.
website | sebastianchaumeton.com
instagram | scartwurk
email | firstname.lastname@example.org
About the project The Chelsea Cafe Project is a series of displays of work by students and staff from Chelsea College of Arts. These changing displays are a chance to see some of the talent here at Chelsea from across a diverse range of disciplines. The series is curated in collaboration with CHELSEA space (opposite) as part of the Public Programme.