On the Couch with Chris Chapman

Dr Chris Chapman oncWho is Chris Chapman?
Son, brother, uncle & friend.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
Forgive myself more – that’s hard to learn.

Who inspires you and why?
A good friend who has since moved back OS helped me to be totally comfortable & honest with myself – without judgment. His wisdom and affection continues to inspire me.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Be true to myself as an example to others.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
I have made regular trips to Japan, often with my mum, and I love the immersion the day-to-day culture – the food, architecture & gardens there are great too.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take then to, and why?
Canberra is a city in nature so trips to the National Arboretum and Mountain Ainslie lookout provide perfect panoramas.

What are you currently reading?
Ben Lerner’s novel 10:04 for its revealing modern-life observations, Dick Swaab’s book about how our brain patterns inform who we are on my Kindle.

What are you currently listening to?
Softly-layered and gently rolling like waves, the Marcin Wasilewski Trio’s 2008 jazz CD January is on repeat.

Happiness is?

What does the future hold for you?
Right now – with my colleague Anne Sanders – working on an immersive exhibition that provides a space for reflection on loss and absence around the First World War. It will incorporate contemporary responses from artists working with visual art, theatre and sound.

Dr Chris Chapman is the Senior Curator at the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra, and he worked closely with New York’s Richard Avedon Foundation on the exhibition of photographer’s work on show at The Ian Potter Museum of Art at the University of Melbourne. The exhibition of Avedon’s raw and intimate photographic portrait work from 1945 to 2004 shows the ongoing relevance of social freedom.

Chris has worked in the visual arts field since the late 1980s, including at the National Gallery of Australia and the Art Gallery of South Australia. He has lectured at the Australian National University and his PhD thesis looked at youth masculinity and themes of self-sacrifice in photography and film.

The exhibition, Richard Avedon People will be on display at The Ian Potter Museum of Art from 6 December 2014 – 15 March 2015. For more information, visit: www.art-­museum.unimelb.edu.au for details.

Image: Dr Chris Chapman