Bruce Louis for Art-Sheep
Scottish-born artist Charles Avery who is based in London goes against the tradition that wants some artists to create their works out of an impromptu kind of inspiration and devotes his so far ten-year-old career to a fictitious island with no name. Avery’s texts, sculptures, installations and drawings, although they appear to be independent from each other, all conclude in depicting a very particular, imaginary place as if it is an anthropological survey. Since 2004, specifics about this island have surfaced in his work. Actually, its fate has a lot of similarities with other countries that have heretofore been under British rule.
The artist envisages the island as an old British dependent frontier that matured into a major city, only to decline in the course of time and having as an only industry to keep up, that of tourism. Avery himself was born and raised on the Isle of Mull, just off the west coast of Scotland. There are definitely autobiographical components in the artist’s cautiously thought out work. But this intricate story is not necessary for Avery’s art to be appreciated. His sculptures place Classical period-looking bosoms and current design essential features side by side. His subjects’ restrained faces are decorated with surreal, geometric “hats” which are made of odd materials such as papier-mâché and cardboard. What makes these features extraordinary and obscure with respect to sight is Avery’s unadulterated colour palette.
You can check some of the artist’s works here