Visual artist Charlotte Weston is putting her middle finger to the shiny, lacquered art world. In the place of soulless sculptures crafted for virtual likes, Charlotte’s work is rough, ready, and all the better for it.
Charlotte graduated this year from Camberwell College of Art with a BA in painting, but now her work takes the form of “low-grade DIY sculptures in a set design format or assemblage sculptures”.
“My work comes about by finding a 30-second joy in objects,” Charlotte tells It’s Nice That. “I collect materials, by materials I mean anything I am attracted to, and play around with them in the studio, documenting the process through photos and videos. The process jumps from finding objects, painting and building an environment to various forms of documentation. Some works stay in their primary state and others I like to fuse together, like video and sculpture. I do not create solid or fixed objects: objects and materials are interchangeable, reusable and repurposed. My previous works exist only through documentation. Amateur film photography and, more recently, video make up this documentation and preservation, as if they were holiday snaps or home videos of babies’ first steps.”
With titles such as It pays to be stupid, Plastic is tougher than me, Something Special for 99p and I was supposed to do great things, Charlotte’s off kilter creations are at once funny and perceptive, revealing something about both Charlotte and the viewer’s assumptions about what makes “good” work. “Being a late bloomer has to be a major theme in my work,” Charlotte says. “I am unintentionally and intentionally playing on the naivety of my work and practice.
“Through the titles of the work and the low-art materials such as in Plastic is tougher than me, pound shop tat takes the centre stage in sculptural based photography. It has a kind of innocent, self-deprecating sense of humour. I also use objects and materials as signifiers, which are combined to emphasise the idea of a façade and our struggle to maintain the illusion of happiness, fulfilment and ultimately, success. With my installation work I imagine the viewer to be at once tantalised and excited but rapidly become overwhelmed and confused. My interest in society and culture can be examined through the refined, subtle clues to be found and visually unpacked on closer inspection of the work.”
About the Author
Bryony joined It's Nice That as Deputy Editor in August 2016, following roles at Mother, Secret Cinema, LAW, Rollacoaster and Wonderland. She later became Acting Editor at It's Nice That, before leaving in late 2018.