riverside gallery exhibition: Charlotte Karin

posted Mon 20 February 2023

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The Riverside Café Gallery is delighted to welcome textile artist Charlotte Karin with her exhibition Fleeting Poetry, chosen to accompany unravel... a festival of yarn as the event celebrates it's 15th anniversary.

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"When I am weaving, my mind is lost in reverie, revisiting these experiences, and allowing them to encapsulate the textile."

Charlotte Karin

The core of Charlotte’s work is to convey the sense of awe one may feel when witnessing natural phenomena (that of memory as metaphor), intersecting with the day-to-day life. The beauty in the tension, weaving to convey this duality.

This collection of oil pastel and textile framed works, follow on from Charlotte’s collection Sehnsucht. Psychologists use the word to represent emotions, associated with longing for the ideal alternative experience. It centres around depicting a mood through colour and scenes, like a paint brush swirled across paper. The mindful experience intertwined with weaving material qualities that resonate memories.

What was the main idea or inspiration behind this collection of work that you are exhibiting?

This collection takes a philosophical concept exploring the restlessness and tension that exists in memory. Following on from my collection Sehnsucht. A German noun I would use to describe longing for this ethereal and ephemeral experience.

What medium do you use in your practice and why?

As a woven textiles designer, I create most my work on my 12 shaft Countermarch and Handloom in my studio. It is a slow process from winding the warp to threading the heddles and tensioning the yarns, till one can finally throw the shuttle back and forth to forge a pattern. Oil painting resonated with this process of adding layers to the achieve the final piece. I enjoy the sensation of weaving and creating bespoke commissioned textiles as well as works of art to adore in one’s home.

How and why did you start making art? Do you have any formal training or are you self-taught?

From a young age, I started making things. Sitting on my grandmother's lap at the sewing machine and feeling the different materials pass through my small hands. I have always been imaginative, I realised later that it was not only the making of clothes I enjoyed, but also the fabric itself. The colour and texture. This is the reason I picked textiles because I wanted transform spaces through colour and materiality.

If you could name one, what is your favourite piece of work you have created, and why?

It is difficult to pick one textile as my favourite, as each is unique in terms of process and fabrication. I like the Daydream piece as it has my favourite technique leno throughout, where the warp creates a dance between threads, crossing over ones another in a figure of 8. It further reflects the simplicity of a plain-woven structure, focusing on its intricacies. My aim is to depict nature’s details and beauty that may otherwise be ignored. I painted the warp by hand with natural dyes from flowers in my garden.

How has your practise changed and developed since you began making art?

My practise is constantly evolving, I think I have more recently found a distinctive narrative within my work that communicates my style and experiences best. I am passionate to further explore.

Charlotte is currently in the second year of her Master in Textiles at the Royal College of Art. Prior to this she completed a BA in Textile Design at The University for Creative Arts in Farnham, Surrey.

Fleeting Poetry is available to view until Thu 03 March.