About

‘My practice explores how individuals relate to the intellectual systems which appear to underpin our cultural and political identities. I have developed work questioning contemporary science and its often confused echoes in the media; how alchemists used diagrams and developed new syntax to decipher nature; and how the contemporary outsider-cosmologist rages against the ‘Einstein-centric’ certainties of physics.

I am interested in how readily we fill the gaps in our comprehension with stories, pictures and metaphors and how problematic these can be when relied upon to make decisions or form opinions.

Along with building on long standing collaborative projects, such as my work with physicist Dr Daniel Crow, I am currently  developing these themes in relation to contemporary populism and the role of social media and AI in contemporary public discourse.

I was selected for a Bogliasco Fellowship(2018) to develop a libretto for a new opera exploring the rise of populism through the lens of white working class America and its love affair with professional wrestling; joining the talented team of Liam Wade (composer), Mark Johnson (Dramaturge) and Julia Mintzer (director).

Biography

Charles grew up in Eltham in South East London before attending Magdalen College Oxford to read Chemistry. He was awarded the University prize for organic chemistry before moving to the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, where he graduated with a first class degree. He has since graduated from the sculpture department at the Royal College of Art and has completed a PhD at Oxford University exploring the construction of complex cosmological systems in medieval alchemy, modern physics and outsider art.

Charles works extensively in dialogue with academics in both the humanities and sciences, and with institutions such as the Ashmolean and the Victoria and Albert Museum as well as in collaboration with composers, musicians and stage directors.

He was shortlisted for the 2011 Red Mansion Prize and the 2011 Saatchi New Sensations Prize, and produced work for the critically acclaimed Pizza Pavilion at the 2015 Venice Biennale.

Selected Shows

2019

Art Metropole Toronto (in association with the Fuller Lecture Series), GOD IS PIZZA, June

Delaware Valley Opera Company, Rondine, (objects), June

Graduate Centre, CUNY, Le Roman de Fauvel (coll. with Christopher Preston Thomas), March

2018   

The White Box Gallery, The Ascent of Man, June

Grand Harmonie Opera, On Behalf of a Madman(writing project), May

CRASSH, University of CambridgeReality Machines, March

NWR Forum Dusseldorf, presentation of Pizza Parlance, March  

Stowe Gallery, Ordering the Cosmos, January

2017       

The Old Truman Brewery, A Pint of Science, May

Metrowest Opera, La Femme Boheme, May

Noformat Gallery, Three100, April

KI International, Biophilia, April

2016        

Society for the Humanities, Cornell University, A Theory Fiction Music Show, May

Bel Cantanti OperaL’Elisir d’Amore, March

2015        

STORE contemporary, Pizza Parlance, September

The Quennington Sculpture Trust, Fresh Air 2015, June

Pizza Pavilion, Venice, Pizza Parlance, May

The Gerard Moore Gallery, Orbits and Occults, April – June

Museum of the History of Science, Dreams of Homunculi, March- June

The Max Planck Institute, DresdenCircling the Square, February

2014       

Cornell University, Hypoxia (performance work), November

The Crypt Gallery, ILLUNINATION, June

The Old Royal Naval College, Modern Makers, May,

2013      

NoFormat Gallery, Three Fields, Feb

The Hanmi Gallery, The Beautiful is Present, January

2012      

The Ashmolean Museum, In-Site, June

Oxford Botanic Gardens, Sustainability, April/May

Gloucester Cathedral, Open West, March

2011        

Victoria House, New Sensations, October

Blyth GalleryArtifact, Sep

RCA SculptureDegree show, Jun

Waterloo Action Centre GalleryFODO, May

2010      

Departure GalleryRhizomatic, October,

Victoria and Albert MuseumRapid Form, Jul,

Five Years Gallery at Bethnal Green LibraryReflectures, Jun, – performance lecture event pairing artists with research academics (also co-curated).

Triumph, Clerkenwell Festival, Jun,

RCA, Painting Project SpacePerformance//Lecture, Mar, – performance lecture event (also curated)

RCA, Henry Moore Galleries, Work in Progress, May