Chick Chalmers (1948-98)
Born in Edinburgh and educated at George Heriot’s School. Chick graduated from the Polytechnic of Central London, having specialised in documentary photography. He began teaching at what is now Napier University, Edinburgh in 1979 and also taught at Stevenson College during the last two years of his life.
He had close links with Orkney. His grandmother, on his mother’s side, was a Shearer; and on his father’s side he is descended from the Chalmers family of Kirkwall.
He spent three months in Orkney during the winter of 1974/5, followed by a return visit in the early summer of 1976 with the aid of a Greater London Arts Association, Visual Arts Award. In this his finals year he made a body of work which subsequently became a touring exhibition for the London photography collective, Camerawork. It is this series of iconic Orcadian images for which he is perhaps now best known.
In 1980 Chick was awarded a Scottish Arts Council grant as part of an exchange programme to visit the United States to take photographs, touring almost every state over a nine month period and doing over 30,000 miles in an ancient VW camper van.
He returned with a remarkable body of work which was exhibited just the once at the Stills gallery, Edinburgh in 1982.
These images are now to be re-printed in collaboration with ‘The Estate of Chick Chalmers’ and made available for sale for the first time as part of an exhibition programme of Chick’s work. Gallery TEN considers these images to be his best work and represents an outstanding, candid series of images, comparable with some of the greatest American documentary photographers of our time. ‘An American Roadtrip’ will be shown at Gallery TEN during the April of 2019.