Charlotte Edsell British, b. 1971

Charlotte grew up in the Bahamas, the Bahamian light floods into her work, and the energy of her practice as a teacher of Qigong is ever present.  The work is concerned with ‘a felt sense’ of the world and the physical act of painting. Energetic atmospheres collide across the picture plane in various states of expansion, contraction and dispersion. Gestures are both conscious and unconscious; paint-overs, erasures and singular strokes coax a painting into being.


Sensitive, crass, sophisticated, naive, illuminating; this is figuration as a result of abstraction with no defined narrative. It is an invitation for the artist and the viewer to delve; to contemplate a sense of time and place. Carl Jung believed images are expressions of deep human experience and our authentic selves. They are the natural and primary language for the psyche and only secondarily do we move to conceptual thought (Valters Paintner).


The work has an ability to activate both the past and present and to exercise reflexivity. It is reminiscent of work we know for “subjectivity cannot be severed from the intricate socio-cultural context in which it thinks and acts.” (Anthony Giddens). This is an attempt at open-ended symbolic communication influenced by exposure to the digital, the range of art history and concern for colour, pattern, texture and the organic shape of the everyday.


An understanding of this work lies in a grasp of the way Abstract Expressionism focuses on the tactile, physical interaction of brush and surface. It is also inspired by Gillian Ayres’ authentic informal work, Erin Lawlor’s play of depth and light, Karl Bielik’s celebration of painterly expression and Amy Sillman’s self-generating atmospheres.