Profile

charlotte-wensley-visual-artist-profile

About Me

 

I am an abstract painter, designer and maker of objects, living and working on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland Australia, having emigrated from England in 2001.

 

I created my first large expressive work at the age of 4, on the living room wall, having been left unsupervised with only a limited supply of paper and a box of crayons. I have been painting and drawing ever since, no doubt inspired by close family creatives (an actor, a ceramicist, several painters, musicians and an engineer.)

The expansive rural landscapes that dominated my physical environment from an early age, and subsequent intense exposure to urban environments, began what has become a recurrent painterly context in which I describe fragments of memorialised experience.

 

Global wanderings have incubated my visual aesthetic; expressive colour; texture and ornament; structures and forms; architectural details; design elements; wide open spaces; the density of cities; seas and mountains; rhythms and seasons.

 

Academic study in the fields of fine art, design technology and education along with a passion for exploring art movements as broader collective ‘time capsules’, have encouraged me to take an experimental approach to my process, as I challenge my own perspective of my work, its relevance to the viewer, its place in my life journey and the collective contribution of artists to society.

 

For me, life is about layers of complexity, contrast, evolving ideas, personal narratives and responses, which I strive to capture and convey through my work.

About My Work

 

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. 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.

 

Qualifications

Post Graduate Certificate in Education - Art and Design (Secondary/High School)

BA(Honours) Fine Art and Design Technology

Higher National Diploma in Art Foundation Studies

 

Education

Bath Spa University, UK (Sept 1999 - June 2000)

York Business College, UK (Sept 1995 - June 1996)

Leeds University, UK (Sept 1992 - June 1995)

Newcastle Arts & Technical College, UK (Sept 1991 -  June 1992)

York Arts & Technical College, UK (Sept 1990 - June 1991)

Volunteer Community Projects 

Large scale murals in schools and kindergartens.

Sculpture projects with kindergarten and primary school students.

Props and set design for youth theatre.

Graphic design for community groups, including logos, website and branding.

Project design, presentation and grant writing for schools.

Craft and painting workshops with school students.

Environment focussed assemblage workshops with primary school students.

Research and submission writing for local community groups.

Other

Registered Blue Card Holder