For place - displace Charlotte Evans work reacts to her experience of moving, from place to place, settling and resettling. Figures interact closely with the landscape, reflective of the artists’ own efforts to navigate their way through uncharted territories. For Evans, this speaks of the ways in which she seeks to ground herself in her surroundings. Her characters appear as silhouettes and ghostly outlines barely visible on the horizon, or cloaked in patterned textiles that blend with nature, simultaneously emerging and receding from view as they travel through the land they have come to inhabit.
Charlotte Evans is an artist concerned with connections; connections to place, to people and to our pasts. Growing up immersed in three very different environments - the inner city of London, the vast landscapes of Suffolk and the mountains of Northern Italy, Evans combines childhood memories and familiar landscapes to create atmospheric and dreamlike paintings that meditate on the way our place of upbringing weave with memory and help form our identity and inform our experience of the world.
For Evans, a familiar sight or sound will conjure an image, a suggestion of a painting with fleeting clarity. These elusive moments, translated using a saturated colour palette and abstracted, recurring forms, are presented with a purposeful sense of theatre. Tree trunks, fallen branches and long-stemmed plants are arranged almost as theatrical sets framing each scene. Enigmatic figures, some presented in costume, crowned or cloaked in colourful pattern, others visible only as silhouettes under the spot lit glow of the moon or shining beacon as they cross the stage.
The viewpoint lowered, there is the sense of being given front row seats to the artist’s imagination and yet, the identities and emotions of the characters are obscured. Instead, clusters of flowers burst upwards, dominating the foreground. Thistles, a nod to the artist’s distant Scottish heritage and symbols of courage and resilience, form a prickly wall. Bright bursts of yellow dandelions, symbolic of hope and new growth, and the floating orbs of their seed heads dance across the canvas. These are the flowers that Evans notices, weeds seen every day, their beauty often overlooked as their roots spread underground.
Inspired by the story telling of Persian miniatures, the precision of Medieval illuminations, the blurred reality of contemporary painters including Jules de Balincourt and the atmospheric landscapes of Mamma Andersson, Evans combines elements of each to create her own distinctive and intriguing paintings which lure us in.
Evans studied fine art at Byam Shaw School of Art, now part of Central St. Martins in London. She currently lives and works in Toronto, Canada. Her work is held in public and private collections around the globe including those of the UBS bank and the Imperial College Healthcare Charity Art Collection in the UK.