A Rebellion of Design Ideals
With a long standing obsession with architecture, interiors and design objects, Charlotte’s drawings take existing architectural forms with the addition of fictional and playful elements. Through collecting visual material from interior and design magazines combined with her personal photography; the spaces she imagines become an amalgamation of different architectural styles, drawing much inspiration from postmodernism, brutalism, and ancient architecture.
How did your obsession with architecture begin?
I’ve always been surrounded by architecture from a young age. My father is a lighting designer so I grew up learning about the world of design and the importance of architecture.
What prompted your studies as an artist and your interest in architectural spaces in particular?
After studying an art foundation I applied to architecture schools, however, I had a realisation that I wasn’t interested in the functional and social aspect of architecture, rather it’s forms and particularities. I then went on to study design for a year prior to my studies in the Fine Arts. My artistic studies came about as a rebellion of design ideals, using design concepts and language, yet, subverting and contorting through a Fine Art perspective.
What is your take on colour?
The colour is often an improvised discussion within my drawings, however, I take a lot go inspiration from the hues of the Bauhaus and Memphis movement.Nathalie du Pasquier is a particular inspiration for me in terms use of colour.
What is its role within your images?
Colour is an integral element in my work, although is rarely the leading component in the drawing. The colour responds to the spatial qualities and mood evoked by the drawing. The palette is rarely planned and develops as more of a spontaneous process.
When confronting and drawing architecture, what defines the way you choose to frame your images?
My compositional process is also very improvised, I tend to work with a rough sketch or photo as reference, the drawing develops as a process of play; moving, removing and scaling elements until I feel the piece works as a whole.
What informs the use of furniture/objects or lack of within these constructions?
I use objects and furniture to emphasise scale and perspective of the space, playing with shadows and light to either conform to the spatial qualities or to offset them slightly. They also act as an extension of this fictive reality and series of scenarios, by placing my favorite design objects in spaces I feel fit and reflect their design.
How important are light and shadow for your spaces?
Light and shadow are essential in my work, to implement both the fictive and real elements in my drawings, most of my works include shadows but not all the objects within cast shadows. I use light and shadow to play with the notions of dimensional space, my drawings lie between 2 dimensional and 3 dimensional, there is a hint of depth and shadow to the components yet the whole image remains relatively flat and graphic.
How do they define an atmosphere and the space itself?
The use of light and shadow place the spaces in a fictive realm of reality, in which there is not really any defined type of day more an artificial sense of light. I’ve also been experimenting with my portrayal of shadow and tonal differences, though the use of curved and organic colour variances to depict such, as a means to further push the space into a representational imaginative space, away from perfect gradient tonalities captured in my photos.
What is your work process from the early research phase to finalised product?
My process changes on a drawing to drawing basis. I collect a lot of visual material from old interiors and architecture magazines, online resources, my personal analog photography and quick phone photos to capture shadows, along with spontaneous sketches to document ideas or observations. My process is interchangeable between these various research methods, the drawing comes about as a combination of these different means of documenting.
What is your most valuable tool?
Although my current process is very digital based, my most valuable tool is my analog camera. it requires a certain way of looking. My camera gives me a different sense of view to which I can find the details in the built environment. It is a new way of seeing and looking for me, something that is an important basis to my drawings.
Charlotte is a London based artist and designer.