Perception is its own Reward


As an athlete I loved all kinds of sports.  But I learned that there is a thrilling experiential difference between being an earnest fan of the game, and actually playing the game.  And listening to music, while powerfully inspirational, is not as fully engaging as actually making music.  I confess that when it comes to a choice between active or passive participation, I am a passionate activist.  

My first exhibitions were of black & white photographs, and as a serious budding photographer I became good at taking poignant pictures of things that already existed for other purposes, or seeing things in new ways.  Eventually I found that there was more room for imaginative exploration when I began constructing small sets that existed only for the photograph (for example using eggs, snow and fabric) — starting from scratch wherein I was able to make more aesthetic decisions.  I had input in everything, involving myself from start to finish in the process and product.

Of course this was, naturally, the harder way to do it; and I have learned to trust in an honest preference for doing things the harder way ever since.  The most difficult ways are often the most fertile ways, and they enjoy the additional advantage of being the less popular ways as well… the roads less travelled.  The extra challenges inherent in this kind of approach expand the learning curve, cover more stimulating (and unknown ) territory, and enhance the surprise/reward factor.  

Even as a kid, if someone told me something was all but impossible, I would stay awake at night trying to figure out an unconventional way to accomplish it.  When taking multiple choice tests in high school I used to try to come up with a plausible (though admittedly highly imaginative) correct answer for each of the four choices.  It was miraculous when all four answers somehow related.

I still do this in my artwork, especially when I am investigating new visual ideas and themes… thinking about how fertile artistic directions might interrelate and enhance each other, yielding something valuable and worth pursuing in combination.  It's an open-ended process that is complex yet engaging, and the resulting artwork (the imagery you view in this studio website) represents some droppings along an evocative, compelling and meandering path.

Perception is its own reward.   

- David Chamberlain

© David Chamberlain Studios 2012           Extraordinary sculptures since 1981;  Chamberlain Method paintings since 1994