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