Since 2005, Charles Avery has been creating an epic, fictional island, drawing on personal experience, philosophical discourse and artistic imagination. The Island is populated by a motley group of characters, including a beast named after Immanuel Kant’s Noumenon, a mischievous character called Mr Impossible, and numerous eels. Avery’s installation resembles the stalls of a fish market and depicts various aspects of The Island and its mythology, from public gardens, to the currency, to the townsfolk. The project encompasses drawings and numerous sculptural objects (made from hand-blown glass, steel and other media), resembling sea cucumbers, medusa-like creatures and spindly urchins.

Charles Avery (b. 1973, Oban, UK) lives and works in London and Mull. Since 2004, Avery has dedicated himself to the invention of an imaginary island, new corners of which he continues to chart through drawings, sculptures, texts, ephemera and (more rarely) 16mm animations and live incursions into our own world. As Avery has said, the Island – with its fantastical flora and fauna, its eccentric cosmology and customs – is ‘a place that helps me to think.’ Selected solo exhibitions include The Gates of Onomatopoeia, Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh (2019); These Waters, GRIMM, New York (2017); Study #15: Charles Avery, David Roberts Art Foundation, London (2017) What’s the matter with Idealism?, Gemeentemuseum, The Hague (2015). Selected group exhibitions include Pluriverse, La Panacée, Montpellier (2017); GLASSTRESS, Palazzo Franchetti, 57th Venice Biennale (2017); Art Night, Whitechapel Gallery, London (2017). Avery represented Scotland at the 52nd Venice Biennale in 2007.

EXHIBITED WORKS

Untitled (Eel seller with blue shorts, silverbob and yellow bucket), 2019
Pencil, acrylic, ink and watercolour on paper
123 × 92.2 × 4.5 cm (framed)

Untitled (Shaman Outside Noumenology, Onomatopoeia, with Tourists Onlooking), 2018
Acrylic, ink and pencil on paper
114.1 × 83.7 cm (unframed)

Untitled (Onomatopoeia, Harbour Gate, West Tower, with Oarsman in Foreground), 2018
Acrylic, ink and pencil on paper
217 × 135 cm (unframed)

Untitled (Tourist, fisherman with mudfish), 2015
Pencil, acrylic, watercolour and ink on paper mounted on linen
81.1 × 106.6 cm

Untitled (Gates of Onomatopoeia with The Bearded Loon in the foreground), 2019
Pencil, acrylic, ink and watercolour on paper
216.5 × 380 cm (unframed)

Untitled (Fisherman returning from the memory of consciousness), 2016
Pencil, ink, acrylic, watercolour on paper mounted on linen
69 × 53.9 cm (framed)

Untitled (Kids playing on raft), 2015
Pencil, ink, gouache on paper mounted on linen
57.4 × 84 cm
Presented with the support of Rollo Campbell and John Campbell.

Untitled (Kids playing on raft), 2015
Pencil, ink, gouache on paper mounted on linen
84 × 114.3 cm
Presented with the support of Rollo Campbell and John Campbell.

Untitled (Ninth Stand no 1+1), 2017
Glass, steel, containers, fabric, brick, wood, blood, acrylic
165 × 110 × 80 cm
Courtesy the artist and Ekard Collection.

Untitled (Ninth Stand with Urchins) 1+1, 2017
Glass, steel, found containers, fabric
132 × 183.5 × 127 cm

Untitled, 2019
Mixed media installation with hand blown glass, galvanised steel, plastic, rope
Dimensions variable
Commissioned by the 16th Istanbul Biennial.
Produced with the support of Outset Scotland.
Presented with the support of British Council.
Glass work in collaboration with Studio Berengo and Marc Barreda.

Courtesy the artist, GRIMM Amsterdam | New York and Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh. (unless otherwise noted)

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