37 (Mia Chaplin)


About PM/AM

PM/AM is a contemporary art gallery located on the border of Soho and Fitzorovia in the heart of London. It hosts a busy programme of shows across the two exhibition floors of the Eastcastle Street space. The gallery’s lower ground floor studio provides the location for a residency space for international and under-represented artists to develop their practice. Together the spaces form a unique cultural and creative hub in the bustling centre of the city.

PM/AM’s mission is to reflect through art how we engage with ourselves and the world today, expressed through the artists it is fortunate enough to work with. Recent graduates, those emerging into the spotlight and in their mid-careers on the international stage all feature across a dynamic programme. The gallery works on the vanguard of the emerging art sector, responsible for finding artists of tomorrow, and is keen to explore and present work originating from the many interlocking diasporas of the world. PM/AM’s plays a part in the incubation of contemporary art’s future by representing a carefully selected roster of artists, working with them to initiate and grow lasting careers in the global art world.

As a dynamic arts organisation PM/AM’s activities extend beyond exhibitions into consultation, publications and editorial, providing the means to facilitate placements with collectors and institutions, and create extended content to further support and expose the artists we work with. This self-contained structure is key to the gallery’s broad outlook and capabilities, however we value collaborations with external writers, curators and other galleries to realise our goals.

Exhibition Text

Mia Chaplin’s paintings occupy a midpoint between figurative and abstract work, extending these into thematic dialogues that centralise human beings. Though caught in the unflinching gaze of a gentle, anonymous onlooker, the subjects of her work seem somehow distant and unreachable, symbols of the greater conscious web than clearly felt individuals.

Mia’s technique, resting heavily on impasto painting and bold brushwork, unifies the bodies within her intoxicating environments. A uniform tonality helps break down the boundary between person and place, leading us to believe there is a force at work that binds them together - their emotions are caught in leaves, their thoughts in the wind. In applying lines of tension into every corner of the work, Mia encourages a full exploration of her paintings that spills from the figures in the foreground to the settings they reside within, with little suggestion of distinction between them.

In preparation for painting Mia uses software to sculpt collages - preliminary realities that explore additive layering and glitching - that then emerge on the canvas. In this initial stage the academic and contextual process is explored, delving into art history and associated symbolism and mythology. Physical forms are stretched in and out of focus, eventually achieving a balance with their backdrops. Once transformed to painting, the nature of the material creates a second stage of elasticity, the push and pull of the brush creating a sense of flux, of life, which is retained as an illusion of motion.

Though painting from the vastness of the universal perspective, Mia incorporates autobiographical elements into her work, often deriving human forms from people existing in her life. This blending of the micro and macro is one of many dualities that make the work so enticing. We may also spot a contrast when calling into question the serenity of the work - considering the processes through which it comes into being, and the complexities of the human essence it promotes, an unnerving sense of tension, of violence, exists in the shadows. Mia’s bodies are vessels for stored trauma, sites that witness the full spectrum of life’s euphoria and tragedy.

“Often violence and softness are closely tied and overlapped - a duality that is often reflected in my work. This theme comes up often and I think is drawn from my gender and sexuality- as a woman attempting to balance power, protection and autonomy with a gentleness and vulnerability.”
- Mia Chaplin

In swerving the focused life of a single human in favour of collective humanity, we find in the work ideas that relate to our universal condition, our dreams and our struggles, people as physical and spiritual entities in need of protection. Her paintings, viewed as single expressions of ourselves, the nature that surrounds us and those mysterious, ineffable spaces, integrate these concepts in a harmony we may aspire to.

- Daniel Mackenzie, April 2023


Mia Chaplin
Born: 1990, Durban, South Africa.
Lives and works in Cape Town.


2011 - BFA. Michaelis School of Fine Art.

Solo Exhibitions

2022 - WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town.
2021 - No Man’s Art Gallery, Amsterdam.
2019 - No Man’s Art Gallery, Amsterdam.
2018 - WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town.
2017 - WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town.
2016 - WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town.
2014 - Salon 91, Cape Town.

Selected Group Exhibitions

2022 - Krone & Reservoir, Cape Town.
2022 - WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town.
2022 - Städtische Galerie, Wolfsburg.
2022 - No Man’s Art Pop-up, Mexico City.
2022 - No Man’s Art Gallery, Rotterdam.
2021 - Kummelholmen, Stockholm.
2021 - Cunningham Contemporary, Johannesburg.
2020 - IZIKO Museum, Cape Town.
2020 - BODE Projects, Berlin.
2020 - Gallery, Gallery, Johannesburg.
2020 - No Man’s Art Gallery, Rotterdam.
2019 - Bogardenkapel, Brugge.
2018 - Galerie Extérieure at Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris
2018 - BKHZ, Johannesburg.
2018 - Barnard Gallery, Cape Town.
2017 - Warren Editions, Cape Town.
2017 - No End Contemporary, Johannesburg.
2017 - Cavalli Wine Estate, Cape Town.
2016 - Galerie Patries van Dorst, Wassenaar.
2016 - No Man’s Art Gallery Pop- up, Tehran.
2016 - The Castle, Cape Town.
2016 - Irma Stern Museum, Cape Town.
2016 - No End Contemporary, Johannesburg.
2016 - No Man’s Art Gallery, Shanghai.
2015 - WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town
2015 - UJ Art Gallery, Johannesburg.
2015 - Barnard Gallery, Cape Town.
2014 - No Man’s Art Gallery, Amsterdam.
2013 - Irma Stern Museum, Cape Town.


2023 - PM/AM, London.
2021 - No Man’s Art Gallery, Amsterdam.
2019 - No Man’s Art Gallery, Amsterdam.
2018 - Cité Internationale Des Artes, Paris.
2016 - Nirox Arts Foundation, Johannesburg.
2015 - OBRAS Foundation, Alentejo.

Collections include

Akzo Nobel Art Foundation
Norval Foundation
LAM Museum
Lavazza Collection