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  • Gasquet, detail
  • Off the Grid, detail

Back from an Inspiration Trip - Charlotte Keates Paintings at Arusha Gallery

April 30, 2017
Smirna Kulenović is an Art History and Philosophy graduate, developing video and sound art projects, in love with improvisational theater and performance. Runs away into deserts, forests and waterfalls.

Inspired by a recent trip to the USA and Canada, Charlotte Keates paintings capture contemplative spaces of stillness in her latest series Sojourn, soon to be presented at Arusha Gallery. The series is triggered by temporary experiences of these places during her short-term stays, and she aims to provoke similar feelings and memories within the viewers as well. Her style is influenced by the 60s and 70s classical architectural interiors, and her entire inspiration trip can be seen as an act similar to that of David Hockney, who traveled to Los Angeles in the 1960s and started painting his famous works inspired by the Californian modernism.

forward artist work project drawing • from 2015 on website
Left: Charlotte Keates – Iron Forest / Right: Charlotte Keates – Palmetto Spring

Places of Memory and Contemplation

Even though these paintings were made as responses to a personal trip and inner feelings of Charlotte Keates, their goal is to reach a universal significance where every viewer becomes invited to explore their own spheres of memories, emotions, and experiences. With an atmosphere in which peacefulness resides as the most important interconnecting point for all the works, the series Sojourn manages to cross the boundaries between nostalgia and the anticipation of the unknown. Summer and autumn in the United States and Canada become the scenography for a play in which the borders between exteriors and interiors become blurred.

forward the work project titled memory
Charlotte Keates – Biscay Boulevard

The Aesthetics of 1960s and 1970s Classical Architectural Interiors

The starting point of Charlotte Keates painting style becomes the aesthetics of the artist’s working atelier, featuring intriguing and surprisingly illusionary and innovative interiors. In some aspects, her works remind us of David Hockney paintings with their vibrant, almost abstract planes of color that perfectly manage to capture the clean lines, flat surfaces, and the openness of both Southern and Northern landscapes. The landscape and sea, with swimming pools and birch trees, become integral settings for her artistic production. Having the moment or scene composed from Charlotte Keates’s imagination, the story is left entirely ambiguous to unfold before the viewer’s eye.

Mountain Mist / Reflecting Squares
Left: Charlotte Keates – Mountain Mist / Right: Charlotte Keates – Reflecting Squares

Charlotte Keates Paintings at Arusha Gallery

Charlotte Keates has been exhibiting extensively since she left Falmouth University with her BA First Class Honours Degree in Fine Art, throughout the UK as well as AAF Stockholm in 2016. After numerous publications of her works were featured in important magazines such as Art Maze Magazine, Atlas Magazine, Harpers Baazar and The Jealous Curator, she now creates a unique solo show which will be on view from May 5th until May 30th, 2017 at Arusha gallery in Edinburgh. A private view will be held on Thursday, May 4th  from 6 pm until 8 pm at the gallery.

Featured images: Charlotte Keates – Off the grid, detail, Gasquet, detail. All images courtesy of Arusha gallery.