I was so pleased to hear from readers Alan & Val who were able to provide some more snippets of information about, and some images of pieces they have by Ilja Chapoff.
Ilja was a WWII refugee to Australia, and worked as a potter painter and sculptor in until the 1980s mainly in New South Wales (see my previous post here)
Alan and Val met Ilja when they ran a small art gallery where they sold some of his work. The gallery was next to their printing business in Narwee 1974/1975.
During this period Ilja was living in the Narwee/Riverwood area. They recall him being a quiet and gentle man, who before he migrated to Australia had taught and practised as an artist in Europe (possibly Prague) for many years, but had to flee with nothing when he came to Australia.
They purchased some of his work at that time, and kindly sent me some photographs of it.
You will also see below another example of Ilja’s work sent to me by Sandra Read more
Ilja Chapoff, (1912-1989)
Georg Ilya Chapoff, A 20th Century Potter’s work who you will rarely come across, but which I find captivating. The image below is the only example of his work I have come across, and I haven’t been able to find any other examples online, in libraries or periodical magazines of the time.
Ilja Chapoff (b1912 Novorossijsk, Russia – d 1989 Australia). Was a talented craftsman who worked as a Potter, Painter and Carver/Sculptor (of both marble and wood). He worked in New South Wales and the A.C.T. (Canberra)…and taught classes in Sculpture in the Canberra region. I am guessing he immigrated to Australia around WW2.
I was able to find only 1 record of an exhibition he was involved in at the Society of Arts & Crafts of N.S.W in 1974 – but there were no images. His name is listed on the Australian Artists database, but that goes no further.
What an all round talent this man was. I love the style of the pattern on this stoneware piece pictured here – obviously a reference to Russian Easter Egg designs which Ilja would have known so well.
If any readers ever come across any information, or a piece by this Artist, please contact me, as I would love to see it and build up some sort of visual library of this work, before it slips from our history. Read more