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 Royal College of Art and has completed a PhD by practice at Oxford University exploring outsider art and outsider science.
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.
‘My practice explores how all of us as individuals relate to the sophisticated systems which underpin our intellectual and political institutions. I have developed work investigating complex physics and its 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 science.
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 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’m excited to have been selected for a Bogliasco Fellowship this Spring (2018) to develop a libretto for a new opera exploring the rise of Donald Trump 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).’
2018 Stowe Gallery, Ordering the Cosmos, January
Grand Harmonie Opera, On Behalf of a Madman, (writing project), May
The White Box Gallery, (currently untitled solo show), June
2017 The Old Truman Brewery, A Pint of Science, May
Metrowest Opera, La Femme Boheme, May
Noformat Gallery, Three100, April
KI International, Biophilia, April
Bel Cantanti Opera, L’Elisir d’Amore, March
2015 STORE contemporary, Pizza Parlance, September
The Quennington Sculpture Trust, Fresh Air 2015, June
Pizza Pavilion, Venice, Non Piu Pesto, 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, Dresden, Circling 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 Gallery, Artifact, Sep
RCA Sculpture, Degree show, Jun
Waterloo Action Centre Gallery, FODO, May
2010 Departure Gallery, Rhizomatic, October,
Victoria and Albert Museum, Rapid Form, Jul,
Five Years Gallery at Bethnal Green Library, Reflectures, Jun, – performance lecture event pairing artists with research academics (also co-curated).
Triumph, Clerkenwell Festival, Jun,
RCA, Painting Project Space, Performance//Lecture, Mar, – performance lecture event (also curated)
RCA, Henry Moore Galleries, Work in Progress, May,