“I Appreciate You” – solo exhibition by Catherine Chambers

29 Aug 2019

The Embassy will be hosting a solo exhibition by Catherine Chambers, from Friday 20th September for two weeks.

Catherine, a London-based artist, has in recent years, developed strong ties with Ethiopia. Since 2015 she has shared her time between Lalibela in Ethiopia and London, and this has strongly influenced her work.

Last summer, Catherine’s portrait of an Ethiopian friend ‘Girma’ was exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts Summer Show.

Portrait of Girma, a tailor from Lalibela, which was showcased at the 2018 Royal Academy Summer Show

The majority of works that will be exhibited at the Embassy will be oil portraits of friends in Lalibela, people Catherine visits frequently but who cannot do the same in return. Painting a portrait is a way of showing her appreciation.

Catherine at her studio in London

The title of the exhibition comes from hearing the phrase “I Appreciate You” being used often in Lalibela, which sparked Catherine’s interest in the variations in meaning that can occur by translation from one language to another.

Catherine’s attempts to learn and speak Amharic rely on translations and interpretations of words and phrases by friends, together with her own interpretations leading to some often amusing and confusing misunderstandings.

Catherine’s exhibited paintings, she hopes, will communicate “I appreciate you” of her relationship with Lalibela in both languages.



Embassy of Ethiopia, 17 Princes Gate, London SW7 1PZ

Date / Time:  
20th September – 3rd October 2019
Monday – Friday
10am – 1pm and 2pm – 5pm

Meet the Artist Day:
28th September 2019 at 12:00 pm



Catherine Chambers is a London based artist who when at home works from her studio. She embraces subjects that are common to people the world over including self-awareness, identity, aspiration, family ties, social status, security and religion. Her artwork is built on close contact and sympathy with her subjects and also echoes her own experiences. Consequently, a painting set in Ethiopia is also a reflection on conditions she believes to be universal. Her work is inspired by the environment around her, interpreting the nature of our being, our connection with our ancestry and our attitudes to others familiar and unfamiliar.

Ethiopia was a planned stop-over during a long north to south trip through Africa. The stop-over became prolonged and led to a succession of continuing visits. Catherine’s improving use of Amharic, life with a local family and extensive background reading, have led to some understanding of the complexities of a rapidly developing nation. Her current works focus on local life and the circumstances of individuals who have become close friends.

Catherine is an avid observer who shares her work to stimulate discussion rather than to deliver conclusions. Her works are a record of her own development and understanding.

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