Friary Villas | 2-3 Friary Street | Derby | DE1 1JF | 07806 782109 | 07948 266652

Meet the Artist: Q&A with Rob Chapman

Welcome to the first interview in our brand new series of Meet the Artist.

In this series we are asking artists that we are working with, or have worked with, what makes them tick. Kicking us off is a regular collaborator Rob Chapman.

Rob’s next show in the Studio Gallery will be in June (current COVID-19 crisis withstanding).

Read on to find out what he has to say….

Meet the Artist Rob Chapman in the Studio

Rob Chapman in his studio

Name: Rob Chapman

Medium: Wood Engraving


  1. Explain what you do in 100 words

I make wood engraved prints (using resingrave which is, for me, a good and affordable alternative to traditional woods). I produce small editions and / or unique pieces in an attempt to find different ways of presenting the print as an object.

Alphabet by Rob Chapman

Alphabet by Rob Chapman

  1. Why do you do what you do?

If I knew that, I would probably not have to do it.

  1. How do you work?

Slowly.

  1. What’s your background?

I gained a degree in Painting and Printmaking before the BA art award was created and when real Art Schools still existed. I taught art in secondary education for ten years, designed and illustrated teaching materials for ten years, practised as a freelance illustrator for 25+ years, all the while practising and exhibiting paintings and drawings. I began wood engraving several years ago as a result of collaborations with Smallprint.

  1. How has your practice changed over time?

The centrality of the individual and their place in the world has remained throughout my practise, the medium and expertise has advanced (slightly).

  1. What themes do you pursue?

The place of the ordinary person in society.

Standing & Waiting by Rob Chapman

Standing & Waiting by Rob Chapman

  1. What memorable responses have you had to your work?

Some rewarding conversations with practitioners and observers.

  1. Is the artistic life lonely? What do you do to counteract it?

I embrace it.

  1. What do you dislike about the art world?

The superficiality of so much work that is produced but that has always been so.

  1. What do you dislike about your work?

It is not technically proficient and never achieves what was planned – “Not what I would but what I could” Jan van Eyck (possibly).

  1. What do you like about your work?

It is now getting closer to what I want to achieve.

Concertina by Rob Chapman

Concertina by Rob Chapman

  1. Should art be funded?

No.

  1. What role does arts funding have?

To support the organisations that support the artist.

  1. What research do you do?

Visual, textual and morning walks.

  1. What wouldn’t you do without?

My family.

Rob Chapman, wood engraving

Rob Chapman, wood engraving

Leave a Comment