Artist RobRoy Chalmers a Series of Seattle Shows and a New Website

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Seven West Seattle galleries will show Robroy Chalmers' art work this year. A new website features an online gallery where individual collectors can now purchase small, affordably priced work online.

“When I came back to Seattle in 2008 it was right at the moment of the big bubble burst. Stuck in a tiny little apartment with most of my studio and supplies in storage,my only option was to make art with what I had on hand."

First up on RobRoy Chalmers’ new website: his hands – inky artist’s hands – weaving, or maybe tearing, something. Next, the Seattle artist is pinning bits of paper to a board. Like an entomologist with his specimens. Then the hands are touching, lifting.

Click over to Chalmers’ online gallery for the product of his process: his current series, The Sporozoan Swarm. For these works, Chalmers tears his prints to bits and resurrects them as a congregation of fragile, shadow-casting creatures that look like they just swarmed in. Stainless steel pins anchor the print fragments while lifting them off the surface.

Chalmers borrowed “The Sporozoan” concept from the study of biology. “In biology, sporozoa are organisms that relentlessly split and divide and, eventually, jump to different hosts in order to survive,” says Chalmers. “It is a great metaphor for my work,” referring to the original prints he breaks apart and installs as sculpture, or reconstructs as paintings, prints, performances, even fashion.

The Sporozoan Swarm is a series of site-specific installations of the tiny prints. “When I came back to Seattle in 2008 it was right at the moment of the big bubble burst. My wife and I still owned a house in Massachusetts and we were stuck in a tiny little apartment with no room for my work. With most of my studio and supplies in storage, my only option was to work with what I had on hand. I ripped up some prints I’d made for another series and installed that first group as a series of tiny drawings in a local arts space.”

Four years after that first installation, The Sporozoan Swarm has been installed in 15 locations. Making art at an almost cellular scale asks the viewer to step in and get dangerously close. Chalmers’ microscopic organic forms may flutter against the breath of the gallery visitor, the scatter of tiny prints secured only by the fragile arrangement of pins. Purchasing the art means splitting some of the pieces for the new host – the art buyer –while the others stay behind. Individual collectors can now purchase small, affordable groups of those prints online.

Chalmers’ artwork will be on view in March at Mind Unwind and Dwellings Seattle Real Estate. Both shows open March 8th (Second Thursday) in West Seattle. Bird on a Wire Espresso, and Knows Perfume, both in West Seattle, will show Chalmers’ work from April 12 to May 6. Chalmers’ solo show at The Shooting Gallery in West Seattle will be on view May 10th to June 9. Chalmers will be at Elliot Bay Brew Pub from July 12th to August 4th. He will also participate in a group show that opens at Arts West Play House September 13, 2012.

“My intent is for The Sporozoan Swarm to achieve a mass of between 500,000 and a million torn pieces of paper,” Chalmers said. “I think I am going to be tearing paper until my hands stop working.”

Brief bio: Chalmers studied intaglio printing at Studio Camnitzer in Valdatavo, Italy and at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. He has exhibited in group and individual shows in locations such as Miami, New York, London, Monte Carlo, and Seattle. He lives and works in Seattle, Washington. Chalmers’ new website, including a gallery and online store, can be found at http://www.robroychalmers.com.

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Heidi Rettig
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