Chick Chalmers

Sheep Being Brought from their Grazing on the Island of Copinsay for Sale in Kirkwall (About 1978)

About this artwork

Chick Chalmers came across this strange sight for the first time during a visit to Orkney in the late 1970s while still a student at the Polytechnic of Central London. Copinsay is one of the smaller Orkney islands, for the most part uninhabited, but used throughout the summer months for the grazing of sheep. The photographs Chalmers took of the islands became a book, recording the unique character of Orkney life. Chalmers's photographs reveal the complexity and strangeness of everyday life.

Chick Chalmers

Chick Chalmers

While still a student at the Polytechnic of Central London in the late 1970s, Chick Chalmers travelled to Orkney. He took a series of photographs in the islands which subsequently formed a book, documenting the unique character of Orkney life. Chick Chalmers believed in the skilled photographer's capacity to capture a revelatory instant, refusing to crop or otherwise manipulate his work. His output during the 1980s was relatively small probably because of the amount of criticism that documentary came under at that time. His photographs nevertheless remain among the classic examples of the documentary genre.