'Her collaging together of the monumental and the ordinary, and of the real and imagined demonstrates an acute ability to make visible what our contemporary eyes might otherwise overlook'
Rosie Howell, Printmaking Today
A leading figure in contemporary art, Charlotte Hodes’ work profiles her long-standing engagement with the cross-overs between the fine and decorative arts. She draws on craft processes to create imagery firmly situated within the language of fine art. She brings her considerable experience as a painter to both her extraordinarily intricate papercuts and large-scale installations in which ready-made ceramic ware serves as her alternative canvas.
The female figure is Hodes’ pivotal motif, an elusive but ever-present silhouette emerging from or blending into backdrops of tactile pattern and vibrant colour. The woman that wanders through her work is nonetheless a disruptive force, refusing her given role as decorative feature to take ownership of her environment and reclaim her autonomy.
Hodes has created new artworks specially for our exhibition, ‘Blue & White’. Responding to the floral and pastoral landscape motifs found on historical ware, she has disrupted the uniformity of image and surface by hand painting silhouettes of women. Although her women are isolated, they each attempt to communicate in various ways including through a megaphone and by sending messages via a paper airplane. These artworks follow Hodes’ involvement with collage as a working method to suggest a sense of fracture and of the uncanny that Covid-19 and the subsequent lock-down has created. The existing ware that Hodes has used, with its idealised scenes and association with colonialism, is unsettled by her painted additions to suggest a sense of disquiet and questioning.
Hodes has been awarded numerous grants and prizes, including the Jerwood Drawing Prize in 2006 and has exhibited widely in the UK and internationally. Recent solo exhibitions include; ‘After the Taking of Tea’ Ruthin Craft Centre, Wales, 2019 and ‘Remember Me’ Wolverhampton Art Gallery, 2017. Hodes is currently Professor of Fine Art at London College of Fashion, UAL.
The below film was made on the occassion of Hodes exhibition Remember Me, reproduced with kind permission from Wolverhampton Art Gallery.