The Small Hours – Charlotte Watson
I keep craving coastlines. Thinking about shipping and navigation and our means of understanding the world. How the way we grow up informs how we see, how our bones become compasses for certain places, ever after.
In January 2019 Charlotte Watson completed an artist residency at the Arteles Creative Center in frozen winter Finland. This residency encouraged participants to delve within themselves, through silence and stillness. What Watson found was her connection to the coastlines of Australia and New Zealand, manifested through stories, places and history.
Sea people recur in my mind and their stories that I know less through fact and more through feel.
For this body of work Watson moved from drawing into monotype printing – a process of removing ink from a plate to create unique prints. As with her drawings Watson skillfully creates textures that enliven the images. She captures the temperamentality of coastal scenes through crashing waves and ocean spray in some works and a quiet depth of colour in others. Real historical events and locations, abstracted through the artist’s hand, are given tension and action.
Accompanying the prints are journal entries from Watson’s time in Finland. These works on scratchboard contextualise the images, placing them within her frame of mind and experiences. Watson’s descriptive language, enhanced by the silver engraved script, is rich with detail. The feelings in these texts resonate through the images she creates, moody, thoughtful and powerful.