Artist Statement

charlotte-wensley-visual-artist-profile

I am beguiled by those fleeting moments of emotional response that settle into the subconscious, unknowingly and unwittingly archived, only to reemerge autonomously sometime later, declaring themselves to be formative emotional experiences; bringing with them a demand to be referenced, contextualised, described and manifested through visual means.

I am driven to create and respond by a strong sense of forward momentum, often laced with urgency, which sees anything beyond the current creative process fall away until I have captured the essence of a feeling, observation or memory and developed a piece that, above all else, creates a strong sense of emotional resonance and personal connection.

I draw retrospectively on my archived visual and verbal vocabulary as I revisit fragments of memory.  My abstract and intricate painting process is a physical demonstration of a distillation of thoughts, beginning with initial chaotic layers of expressive painting. Sifting through an experience, I use paint to describe my journey through a ‘mindscape’, towards visual and emotional clarity, aiming to ultimately represent a singular concept or moment in time. Ephemeral distant memories are made tangible through abstract conceptual elements and colour.

I aim to create ambiguous and undefined places where the mind can wander, free to contemplate and respond to forms, lines and colours and where the viewer can begin to explore their own perception of painting and further its narrative and meaning by lending their own experience to its interpretation. 

Each painting begins with a dynamic loading of colour, marks, shapes, lines and layers of paint using only intuition and sensory response as my guide. This stage is free, expressive and random. I wait then, until a shape or line stirs a fragment of memory. A pivotal moment occurs when my thoughts collide with the act of painting and a tangible connection is realised. And so, a conversation begins to evolve, both painterly and cerebral as I begin a process of considered refinement.  I commit to a narrative and pursue a visual resolution through a process of addition and subtraction, balancing sentiment with paint. I allow each work a varying degree of autonomy as I work towards visual and emotional clarity, aiming to ultimately represent a singular concept or moment in time.  

When I'm painting, I work in relative isolation in my home studio. I allow myself to become immersed in reflection and storytelling, allowing a journey of discovery to unfold organically with each new work created.

Making experimental objects and small sculptures in 3D is a natural flow on from my 2D work, which is process driven initially. Using clay, cane and paper, impermanent recycled materials and textiles is an essential part of my process as it helps me to understand and realise the physicality of shapes and forms, which in turn, informs the way I capture elements in my painting process.