Charlotte Powell’s work focuses on objects and creatures which, although they may initially seem to be of modest importance are, to the artist, touchstones with a richness of associations, narratives and significance. They remind her of children’s wonder and precision when they play with their favourite toy.
Some of the objects used are toys which are framed by the culture of their origin or appropriation, (religion, folklore, myth etc.) and trigger imagination, memories of stories learned and invented, cultural myths and values. Some of the subjects are real fauna and flora, some living and some dead. They are all beautiful and are studied as subjects for the artist’s own narratives, where new connections are generated through the compositions.
Much of Powell’s work explores the Seduction of Artifice, using rigorous observation and figurative representation of natural and artificial Fauna, Flora, Objects and Toys. Her current work uses imagery to explore the implied factual ‘truth’ and personal interpretation of her subjects, with references to narratives and symbolism within primarily Western figurative art.
The visual triggers (both natural and artificial) are all subjected to the same intense scrutiny. The length of time given to the subjects’ study is implicit in the execution of the artworks. With that knowledge the artist tries to draw the viewer into the work, to contemplate it and reflect upon it and themselves. Powell gives her artworks a focussed intensity and a significance to fleeting subjects and ephemeral playthings made permanent by her notice of them. There is an interplay between which subject is living, dead, preserved, plastic, resin, real, contemporary, antique, past and present. It is all the same and yet different in the interconnected world of these drawings.
Exhibitions at Gallagher & Turner:
The Lore of Curious Things
14 July - 9 September 2017