Aperçu: Paul Chambers

Aperçu: un coup d’oeil jeté sur des individus qui inspirent, leurs pensées courantes et leurs projets émergent. Inspiring individuals; a place to celebrate personal projects, reflections and ideas.

Paul Chambers

Aperçu: Paul Chambers 

I am a Stage and Lighting Designer, Visual Artist, and co-artistic director (along with David-Alexandre Chabot) of CHA collective. I am a part-time professor at Concordia University, where I teach production and design in the contemporary dance department. And I coach design students at the National Theatre School of Canada. I have designed theatre, opera, circus and many forms of live arts,  but my passion is designing space for contemporary dance and performance.

Recent design credits include collaborations with Lara Kramer Dance, Amanda Acorn, Dorian Nuskind-Oder, Catherine Lavoie-Marcus, Priscilla Guy, Maria Kefirova,
Katie Ward, PME-ART, Parts+Labour_Danse, Destins Croisés, Benjamin Kamino, & Public Recordings.
Paul Chambers Work
What is your process for starting a new project?
In theatre i start with the script. In dance and performance I am often designing an idea before the movement even exists. So at the beginning of the process I am trying to find how my medium (lighting) can communicate this idea. My process changes for most projects as I work for choreographers mainly who themselves have their own approach. But often my process mimics the choreographers process. Sometimes i will have my own elaborate process that runs parallel to the choreography.

The most challenging works to light and design are the ones where the process of the artist is what grips me. I get very fixated on looking for ways for the design to reinforce the process or the themes in the work rather than focus on how to light the bodies onstage. How this process can be shared with the audience through design, and or how to share the experience I had when I first saw the work in studio.

Paul Chambers work

When do you feel most creative, what sort of things do you find inspiring, and where do you find them?
Creativity is something I have never been able to conjure. It can happen at any time in any place for me. When I sit and must be creative I usually dont get very far. Traveling or just being outside the house helps a lot. Nature often inspires me for it’s scale that I find impressive no matter where I am. Being in a space I don’t know often brings more inspiration. Very strangely my mood and my personal life often infuse my lighting design, which maybe most people wouldn’t expect. But it really does. This is why I really like getting into a process as early as possible. It provides me with the longest time to be affected by the world and then I can translate that into my work and hopefully affect the work of my collaborators and have a conversation with the audience through light.
Do you have a piece of jewellery that you've loved for a long time, what makes it special?

When I was young I wanted to wear a ring. I remember telling my father and he said I have an old ring you can have. It was made of bone and at the time I thought that was pretty bad-ass. The carving is so random and the ring has a distinct yellow hue. I tried a few times to clean it with toothpaste and a brush. I realize now that I know so little about it. What animal it came from, who carved it, how it came into my father’s possession are all unanswered. and yet I have grown quite attached to it. it has always fit me perfectly, and I still feel great when I wear it.

Paul Chambers work
Who is your favourite womxn artist?
Jenny Holzer - The themes of her work and the way she uses light have always attracted me. A strong feminist voice and an artist who’s work will always be relevant. I’m most interested by the columns of scrolling LED texts. I had the pleasure to see her work live at DHC-ART.
A womxn artist you would recommend?

Maria Kefirova   

I have had the pleasure to collaborate with Maria Kefirova since 2012. Her choreography/performances not only challenge the audience to look at space and the body in new ways but also challenge me to approach lighting in ways I have never tried. The end product is both something that is almost imperceptible but also extraordinarily specific. Maria will be showing new works this year and the next in Montreal. keep an eye out!

Heidi Ewing & Rachel Grady

Directors of the documentaries “Jesus Camp”, “Detropia”, and “ One of Us”. I discovered this duo with the film Detropia. The film stayed with me for a long time and I think it came from the care the filmmakers took in presenting us the city of Detroit. The nuances of ruins and rebuilding an economy. And the hope art can bring. In a time of Covid I think this doc is worth a watch, if only to give us hope.

Bunny Christie
Set and costume designer based in the UK. I discovered her work through the National Theatre. Her work is so on point and detail oriented. Her stage design for the Red Barn is just about the most cinematic use of theatre masking I have ever seen.
Julia Fullerton-Batten

Just an outstanding photographer! Her use of light is a great source of inspiration for me. And the tone and theatricality in her images also speaks to me. There is extreme beauty in the mundane, and even the everyday can be uncanny.

What's next for you in the following months?
Design and construction of a lighting installation for Montreal-Arts-Interculturels that will be featured all season long and represents the duality of their season slogan “ Care, Don't Care”. In December, CHA designs will be in residency @ LaChapelle - Scène Contemporaine for a new work PHASES CHROMATIQUES. We will be presenting our research around audio & visual perception to small groups who are curious to be placed inside a proposition featuring sound and light, to experience a performance without performers.


Follow Paul
at www.paulchambers.ca
Instagram: @cha.pchambers