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Born in Cape Town, South Africa in 1972


Christopher Langley was born and educated in South Africa. In 1991 he moved to the UK and completed his art training at the University of Wolverhampton. He has since exhibited regularly in the UK, South Africa and the USA, and undertaken a broad range of private commissions, both paintings and sculptures.

His paintings start with the laying of an iridescent acrylic ground, informed by the use of gold as a substitute for a blue sky in medieval icon painting. The iridescent ground stands for the void or the ground of being.

The landscapes or ‘plantscapes’ are built up from a limited range of marks to form a design. The paintings are based on photographs taken around the Western Cape.

Recently Christopher has taken to painting personages using the same technique that he uses for his landscapes. The characters combine imaginative drawings with plants and landscapes.

Both sets of paintings explore the relationship of humanity to nature and the divine.

Amongst his sources of inspiration are Mogul miniatures, Oriental rugs and Outsider Art.


1994 - 97
BA (Hons) in Art and Design, Sculpture with Photography at the
University of Wolverhampton

1991 - 93
BTEC National Diploma in General Art and Design at Suffolk College, Ipswich

Matriculated from the South African College High School, Cape Town, South Africa

Short Courses

Etching course, taught by Judy Woodborne, Cape Town

Memorial Carving Course, Orton Trust, near Kettering, UK

Painting summer school at the Slade, UCL, London (& ’03), UK Icon painting course at Turvey Abbey, UK

Tibetan iconography course with Andy Weber at Jamyang Buddhist Centre, London, UK

Summer school at Suffolk College: ‘Life Drawing’ and ‘Botanical Illustration’, UK


Cape Gallery, Cape Town
I-Art Gallery, Cape Town
Prince Albert Gallery, Prince Albert, South Africa

Solo Exhibitions and Artists’ Fairs

Cape Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
Ice House Gallery, Holland Park, London, UK
Untitled Artists Fair, Chelsea Old Town Hall, London, UK
Battersea Contemporary Art Fair, London, UK

Cape Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa

2005: Cape Gallery in Cape Town, South Africa

Selected Collections/Collectors

Houses of Parliament, Cape Town
Douglas de Jager, Cape Town
Louis Jansen van Vuuren, France
Selected Group Exhibitions (UK unless indicated otherwise)

Dream now, dream not, the annual Winter Solstice exhibition at The Cape Gallery, Cape Town

Natural Affinities, group exhibition at The Cape Gallery, Cape Town

Threshold, annual Winter Solstice exhibition at The Cape Gallery, Cape Town

Turn Around Time, annual Winter Solstice exhibition at The Cape Gallery, Cape Town

Continuum, Solstice Exhibition, Cape Gallery, Cape Town

United Society of Artists ‘Annual Open Exhibition 2009’, Menier Gallery, London. I was elected to be a member of the society and shown in 2009.
Mini-Me Exhibition, AVA, Cape Town, RSA
’Print’, an exhibition of etchings, These Four Walls Gallery, Cape Town, RSA

Kaleidoscope Dreams, group exhibition at Redbrick Arts Center, Aspen USA              
Suffolk Show Case 2009, selected by Grenville Davey and Lotte Juul Petersen;
Bury St Edmunds Art Gallery, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk   
Ipswich Art Society Annual Exhibition’ (&: ‘09, 03’, ’02, ’01, ’00, ’95, ’94)

Aspen Gallery at Highlands, Aspen, USA, closed 2009. Produced 3 paintings (2007) 2009: and a stone carving (2008) for the gallery. (The carving, of a woman in black        chlorite, was carved in situ.)

‘Boys Toys’, The Art House, Westbourne, UK

‘Adam and Eve Show’ at The New Art Centre, Chatham Kent
‘The Doll, My Doll, My Moll’ at The Art House, Westbourne, Hampshire (photography)

‘Field Exhibition’ at the Code Gallery, Bristol
‘Summer Open 2005’ at the Waterloo Gallery, London
‘Paper, Pen’ at The Art House, Westbourne, Hampshire

‘19th Annual Open Exhibition’ at Café Gallery Projects, London
‘Roaring Fork Open’ at Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, Colorado, USA
London Buddhist Arts Convention, Bethnal Green, London (&: ’01, ’00)

Sculpture Festival/Sculpture Trail 2001, Cuckoo Farm Studios, Colchester
Felthorpe Forest Sculpture 2000, Felthorpe Forest near Norwich

On the Border’ selected by Mark Wallinger and Grif Rhys-Jones at Firstsite at the Minories, Colchester  
‘The Ipswich Open’, selected by Maggie Hambling and George Melly at
The Wolsey Gallery, Christchuch Mansion, Ipswich  

The Waterlily Foundation, Cambridge
‘The Art Show’ at Alexandra Palace, London

Selected Commissions

‘Rhine Nymph’, limestone carving of a standing woman for balcony in Switzerland

Contracted by Bilton and Johnson to replace a damaged section of ’Aaron’s Rod’ wood carving for a building in Ipswich town centre.
-’Warhare’, yew wood wall piece for a house near London
-‘Magdalena’, serpentine stone carving for a garden in Dusseldorf, Germany
-‘Aspens II’ and ‘Verlorenvlei II’, paintings shipped to Boston USA

Four Guardian Kings and Wheel and Deer Architrave’ carving in chestnut wood for the entrance to the shrine room of the Ipswich Buddhist Centre
Portrait of Swami Rama Tirtha in bronze
‘Houses of Parliament’ and ‘Notting Hill’ (London), two paintings for a flat in London

Stupa Styled Donations Bowl, in tulip wood, for the Ipswich Buddhist Centre
-‘Lovers’ (two jelutong wood carvings) and ‘Rape Seed Fields’ (oil painting) for a games room house extension, Dusseldorf, Germany

Figurative wood carvings for the ‘Thomas Wolsey’ Special School, Ipswich

Work as an Assistant

I helped Louis Jansen van Vuuren, for a period each year, with two collaborations 2009: with Zwelethu Mthethwa and a couple of other projects. The exhibitions were held at The Everard Reed Gallery in Johannesburg and I-Art Gallery in Cape Town. The work was done at his studio in central France.

Nick Lloyd (sculptor and sculpture course leader at the University of  Wolverhampton) with the roughing out of: ‘There and Back Again’ and ‘Round the Wrekin’, two abstract public stone carvings for Wolverhampton Bus Station; and the setting up of an exhibition, UK
Bernard Reynolds (sculptor) in Ipswich, making a bronze public sculpture, based on a parrot skull, called ‘Rubio’, for Norwich, as well as exhibition work, UK

1993: Deirdre Saunder (artist) with painting furniture, and a relief mural for one of her clients in Washington DC, USA

Employment/Volunteering in the UK

Work for Windhorse Trading (affiliated to the Triratna Buddhist Community) part time, full time and casually: at their head office in Cambridge and their gift shops in Ipswich and London, in London I was the merchandising manager

Volunteered and worked casually for Christchurch Mansion and Ipswich Museum (in Ipswich) as a Museum Assistant, assisting in security, conservation and exhibition work

Manned reception for the Suffolk Interfaith Resource in Ipswich, UK; gave a talk on Buddhist art and wrote an essay entitled ‘Buddhism Through its Arts’ for a religious studies course SIFRE was involved in.

Title: Centre stage
Size: 20 x 20 cm
Media: Acrylic
Price: R 4 000 Unframed

"My sculpture engages with line, concave, convex and vertical forms. It seeks to combine containment with aspiration, which derive from my religious practices of meditation and devotion. I wish to distil objects/beings to an expressive essence. I am intrigued by the extent to which one can abstract/alter/reduce/deform an object or figure, combine it with plant or architectural detail, and still interpret it inline with its original character/form. Consequentially I am interested in artists such as Constatin Brancusi, Cecil Skotnes, Pablo Picasso and Alexis Preller."

The sculptures are about particular characters, frequently of a religious nature, but sometimes drawn from the other arts such as literature and music.

The paintings are based on real landscapes with imaginary details added and are akin to symbolism. The tendency to abstract continues and is wed to an interest in patterning and interconnecting form and line. Inspiration has come from JH Pierneef, Cezanne and Henri Rousseau as well as botanical illustrations.
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