London College of Fashion’s Professor Charlotte Hodes, has launched her latest exhibition, Dressed in Pattern at London gallery jaggedart. The exhibition is the inaugural collaboration between Circus, a boutique management consultancy, and jaggedart and Professor Hodes held a talk at Circus to introduce her work and the exhibition.
Dressed in Pattern brings together ceramics and paintings created over the last two years by Charlotte and includes the installation Spode Trees & Dressed Silhouettes, which was commissioned for the British Ceramic Biennial in 2015, and supported by Arts Council England research, the Spode Museum Trust development grant and London College of Fashion.
LCF News spoke to Charlotte at the exhibition to ask her about the collection and her creative process.
Can you describe the collection?
This collection of work was made over a two year period and began with research at the Spode Museum Trust archive of engravings. The engravings had been used in the factory when it was in production, to print pictures and patterns onto ceramic ware. Using details taken from a selection of a small number of these engravings, I developed an entire body of work. This consists of a large installation using ceramic tableware, over 7 metres in length; single and sequenced ceramics; paintings into which I embedded ceramic plates and a series of relief prints. Figure silhouettes inhabit the surfaces of the work and are intermingled with patterns, landscape elements and decorative motifs.
Tell us a bit about your process?
I use both hand craft processes as well as the digital to realise my work. I am interested in how graphic marks and fragments of images (such as an enlarged detail from a historical Spode engraving) change at each stage of the process and how the slippages and loss (caused by actions such as scanning a drawing) can be paradoxically harnessed as steps towards refining the completed artwork.
I initially started by pulling hand rolled black prints directly from the engravings, in the factory. These prints are called ‘scotch’ prints, which show clearly every detail from the engraving. I then scanned these prints along with a number of pencil drawings that I had made of female figures. Through redrawing and manipulating these elements I made a number of files which, once printed as ceramic transfers, I hand cut and applied to the ceramic ware before firing. I worked in an intuitive way, responding to the process as I went along, rather than making a design in advance.
I used these scanned prints as a reference point to make my paintings (acrylic and oil on wood) thereby translating the engraved graphic mark into a very different brushed painted mark.
The relief prints were made through laser cutting patterns into surfaces of thin ply wood. I then hand rolled the surface of the wood and used hand cut paper stencils to mask out my shapes.
Most of my process are quite simple, but complexity is built up through the multiple stages in the process and the layering of pattern and shape.
Charlotte Hodes’s silhouettes inhabited the gallery space at Circus from 19 – 22 April and will continue at jaggedart gallery until 14 May 2016.