Angela Charles

Louise Cameron  When did your interest in drawing and painting begin?
Angela Charles  I’ve always been interested in drawing and painting, it’s all I ever wanted to do. From being a small kid and throughout school I was happiest when I was drawing or painting. I only really cared about art at school and had little interest in academic subjects until I realised I wouldn’t get in to art school with just my art O’Level.

Louise   What’ was the atmosphere at art college like- was it free and creative, or were the teachers determined to make you learn by the book?
Angela    At Goldsmith and previously at Worthing Art College you were encouraged to take your work in whatever direction you wanted. For me the best atmosphere was in my initial year at Worthing, I dreamt of going to art college (no one I knew had been to art college and I’m not quite sure how I knew it was where I wanted to be, there was no careers advise and both school and my father weren’t exactly thrilled by the idea) but nothing prepared me for the freedom and the creativity I was about to experience. It was a total shock to leave school where our one lesson a week in art involved drawing what we saw to find this amazing new world where you could produce art all day everyday, I immersed myself in everything that art college had to offer and the experimental nature suited me well. One of the first things we did was produce a Kurt Schwitters inspired performance using cardboard boxes, out of which we squeezed toothpaste and tipped bottles of urine. I loved it and loved Schwitters from that day onwards.

Louise Was there ever a period when you painted in a figurative way.
Angela I did then until in the first year of art college we went to Amsterdam and visited the Stedelijk Museum. Here I saw a Robert Rauchenburg painting ‘Charlene’ and it changed my world, I realised during that trip that painting didn’t have to be figurative it didn’t have to look like something ‘real’, if you wanted to have something red in the painting it didn’t have to be carefully painted it could be collaged, it could be an old door or a shoe.

Louise Are there any artists who were of influence when you were a art college.
Schwitters, Rauschenburg, Basquiat, Dubuffet, Tapies, Twombly, Baslitz

Louise During your career as an artist, which other artists have been a source of inspiration to you?
Angela All of the above still but more figurative work has begun to inspire me and work that isn’t anything like my own: Paula Rego, Jockham Nordstrom and David Batchelor. I also am a keen collector of paintings including; Padraig Macmiadhachain; Jessica Cooper; Oliver Teagal; Peter Joyce and Charlotte Keates. I am constantly inspired by others as an artist, collector and curator.

Louise How many days a week-hours a day, do you paint.
Angela It varies but at the moment 3 full on days (at present I’m working as a part time Curator of a public art gallery so juggle both). Louise Is your work still evolving and if so what direction going in? Angela If you’d told me when I left college I’d be painting work inspired by landscape I’d have laughed in your face, but that’s where I’ve landed. I blame it on a move to Somerset from Brighton, it was a shock to the system. Yes contantly evolving, I’ve dropped the collage element of my work completely and now just combine the drawn lines with the painting. I’m obsessed by working on aluminium which I get spray primed to provide a surface so smooth it’s like a car. It means every mark is my own. I’d love to paint a car, the BMW art cars have been an inspiration since the 80s, I’d love to be let loose on one of those.

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Exhibiting Contemporary Art