Ian Chamberlain Drawings and Prints

The Atlantic Wall

The Atlantic Wall was a system of coastal fortifications built by Nazi Germany in World War II, 1942 – 1944 along the coast of western Europe stretching over 6000 miles.


The Atlantic wall body of work further explores themes of boundaries and frontiers, offering contemporary relevance and a symbolic connection with current debates around visible and invisible barriers.

Some of these brutalist structures remain, originally built to defend a boundary they now remain isolated architectural symbols of permanence slipping into failure and decay.

The redundancy of these structures is a contradiction of their original function for permanence, becoming a visual metaphor of the shifting political, social and environmental landscape.

An architectural reminder of failure“.

I also see a direct correlation between the continual elemental erosion of the Bunkers and the erosion of the etched copper surface that is used to make the printed images.

Here, time is inherent in the making of the work, slowly layering and etching away the surface to build up the image.

The subject matter I feel then becomes embedded in the process used to record it, the material values of the process becoming engrained within the concept itself.