The lure of the coast from Dorset to Cornwall is constant for Angela Charles. The contrast of the peacefulness of the landscape and the sea alongside its untamed wildness and intensity holds perpetual appeal. The acquisition of a campervan a few years ago has made escaping to the sea even easier and allowed for spontaneous trips with her husband both locally to Dorset as well as to Cornwall to develop her work.
Angela’s works evolve from recorded notes about the landscape, the light and the sea. These act as a catalyst for her paintings which, rather than a direct response to a certain place, represent a memory of a location and the felt experience of being there.
Working on spray-primed aluminium and wooden boards, which allow for every texture to be her own, Angela builds up layers of sanded-down acrylic. The layers are often wiped away forcefully with cloths or her fists and pierced with marks made by pencils or dentist tools. Through areas of calm and yet moments of frantic mark-making, the resulting paintings reveal her sense of awe at the South West coast.
Born just outside of Brighton Angela Charles studied at Worthing College of Art. She then went on to study for a BA Hons in Fine Art (Textiles) at Goldsmiths College, University of London, graduating in 1989. Angela moved from Brighton to Crewkerne, Somerset in 2001, working part-time as a gallery curator. As a painter, her reputation has grown since first exhibiting in 1989. Her first one-person show was at Sherborne House, Dorset in 2003 and since then she has exhibited throughout the UK.
Around 2010, Angela started to experience problems with her vision. She was subsequently diagnosed with Retinal Dystrophy, an incurable eye condition which progressively leads to the loss of sight. Although her sight loss was more manageable initially, in the last two years, Angela’s sight has deteriorated significantly and she was recently Registered Blind. As you can imagine, this was a very challenging time for Angela. Apart from the practical and psychological adjustments that a person losing their sight has to go through, Angela was also faced with the anxiety of not knowing if she would still be able to paint and what and when she should tell her clients and the galleries that represented her work. She needn’t have worried though, as Angela’s innate and instinctive use of colour and mark-making means that she is producing work as beautiful as ever, possibly even more so.