From 8 Nov 2014 until 2 Jan 2015, White Moose gallery presents the first retrospective of internationally renowned Devon photographer Chris Chapman. The exhibition comprises specially selected iconic photographs of Dartmoor, Exmoor and local people, along with a screening of his new documentary about his long-term friend and ‘Lady of Exmoor’ Hope Bourne, who died in 2010.
Chris Chapman began his career at the Newport College of Art in South Wales where he was invited to join the Documentary Photography Course run by the Magnum photographer, David Hurn. Little did he know, when moving to Dartmoor aged 23 in 1975, that almost 40 years on rural life in this stunning part of the country would still prove his main source of inspiration. No other photographer has managed to capture the culture and character of Dartmoor more richly and sensitively than Chris Chapman, who diligently archived generations of its people and their traditional handed down crafts and skills now mostly on the verge of dying out.
“If I cannot be a leader, at least I will never be a follower. If God has not willed I will be a master in life, at least I won’t be a servant.” Hope Bourne
It is hardly surprising that Chris Chapman felt compelled to document the life of the legendary Hope Bourne whom he first met whilst working on the six part HTV television series Secrets of the Moor, in which Exmoor featured in 1992. Unlike her much more well-known bushcraft expert contemporaries John ‘Lofty’ Wiseman, Ray Mears and Bear Grylls, Hope Bourne actually lived off the land for more than twenty years from her base in the ruins of a farm on Exmoor. Surviving on a budget of £1 per week, which was mostly used for cartridges for the gun she shot small animals with for food, she spent her days growing vegetables, sketching Exmoor’s landscape and vegetation, writing for her local paper and combining her knowledge and skills to produce a fascinating series of books.
“Hope’s was a story that needed to be told. But I couldn’t have made this documentary without the support and co-operation of the people on Exmoor. They allowed me unfettered access to their personal memories of Hope and made me very welcome wherever I wished to film.” Chris Chapman
Chris Chapman‘s new moving 50-minute documentary, ‘How Many People See The Stars As I Do?’ is the culmination of his twenty year long admiration and affection for Hope Bourne and his journey of uncovering her extraordinary life-story underneath layers of mythology and misinformation. The film will be screened at White Moose on 7 Nov 2014 with a special presentation and Q&A session by Chris Chapman. Tickets for this screening cost £7.50 and are on sale now from White Moose.
Chris Chapman is widely respected and admired as one of the UK’s leading black and white documentary photographers with work represented in both public and private collections, including those of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, the Arts Council of England and the International Center of Photography in New York. Most of his published works are now collectors’ items with resale copies fetching up to £2500 online.
Exhibition: Chris Chapman – A Major Retrospective
Gallery: White Moose
Dates: Sat 8 Nov 2014 – Fri 2 Jan 2015
Times: Mon – Sat, 11am – 5pm
Location: White Moose, Moose Hall, Trinity Street, Barnstaple EX32 8HX
T: 01271 379872, E: firstname.lastname@example.org, W: http://www.whitemoose.co.uk
SPECIAL EVENT: Screening of Hope Bourne documentary (‘How Many People See The Stars As I Do?’) with presentation by Chris Chapman, Fri 7 Nov, 7pm (for 7.30pm screening). Tickets are £7.50 each and can be purchased by card (over the phone or in person) or by cheque (made payable and sent to White Moose).
NEW: Fisherman – demo from the ‘Drawing Room Sessions’ by South West based music artist/filmmaker duo Drunk With Joy