Ordinary People by Rob Chapman represents the fate of ordinary people at the hands of those whose desire for power is greater than their compassion for, or even their consideration of those people. With a timeframe spanning only one hundred years (1920s – 2021), it acts as a representative for the actions of the powerful on the broader populations throughout history.
It is simply wrong that one person’s ambition can be sufficient excuse for the suffering and death of the people they have governance over or have imposed their will upon. Furthermore, the oppression of those with differing religious, racial, political, sexual, origins or beliefs has happened in the past, is happening now and appears set to continue into the future.
The work consists of wood engravings which are made in looser and in some ways, with more experimental approaches that I have been working towards recently. Whilst much of the work conforms to the usual editioned, wall hung approach I have found that the production of multiple prints enables me to explore different ways of presenting the image. The combination or separation of images causes them to be viewed in a variety of ways – as individuals, as groups united in suffering, of masses of movement, for example, and the presentation of work outside the frame enables a greater intimacy with the viewer; in other words, I can play around with images in different formats to find out what they say to me, as well as the observer. Thus, the subject can be seen and read in varying versions according to how the same images are presented.