The title ‘Below Another Sky’ comes from the poem ‘Travel’ by Robert Louis Stevenson and was the beginning of the journey for this new body of work. The poem, a favourite of Charlotte's as a child, a child whose imagination was captured as much by the words as the artwork, conjuring images of far-away lands and contemplating the possibilities of every day. Literature forms an important catalyst for Charlotte’s creative process. However, there is no defined narrative. These paintings are an invitation for the artist and the viewer to delve; to contemplate a sense of time and place and suspend themselves momentarily in the feeling of memory.
Part of Charlotte’s exploration is a deep fixation with colour and surface. This is evident in the work and again the artist would like to pay tribute to a book, The Painter’s Palette by Denman Waldo Ross, a theory of tone relations. Charlotte talks of being influenced by the way abstract expressionism fixates on and embraces the tactile, physical interaction and relationship of brush, body and surface. Through the use of sweeping gestures, energetic atmospheres collide across the picture plane in various states of expansion, contraction and dispersion. Gestures both conscious and unconscious; paint-overs, erasures and singular strokes coax these paintings into being. All of this needs to be achieved while maintaining consistency of surface. Charlotte is inspired by Gillian Ayre’s authentic informal work, the cinematic lushness of Peter Doig, Amy Sillman’s play of shape and colour and Andrew Kerr’s handling of layers, atmosphere and ambiguity.
Charlotte chooses not to define between abstract and figurative, but instead is interested in being responsive to her emotional impetus. Both premeditated and intuitive marks are in play. She embraces both reason and mysticism in her pursuit. She is responsive to sudden insights, which can surprise her. Her paintings contain shadowy versions of objects or places, mash ups of interior, exterior views with distorted perspectives, memories, referencing her love of nature and architecture.
Like so many great paintings, these feel effortless. However, they are the result of years of tussle with form and struggle with balance, working out colour, figuring out feeling. There is no doubt that these paintings are about feeling. Everything about Charlotte is intense, enthused, concentrated. There is a serious intent colliding with a joyous discovery as she relishes an acceptance of her ability.