Due to ongoing pandemic restrictions, plans for further in-person group shows remain on hold. In the meantime, GRADCURATE is proud to present an open-ended series of virtual solo shows. The third artist to feature in this series is Charlie Yates.
Charlie graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 2019 with a BA (Hons) in Fine Art and is now based between Glasgow and Edinburgh. His most recent project, Lost and Found, is based on old family and found photographs from the 1950s -1970s.
The work focuses on themes of nostalgia and memory. This is seen through his choice of limited and muted colour palettes and deliberately vague and blurred imagery, which represent the fading of memory with time. These choices are also fitting with the limitations and ageing of mid-twentieth century photography.
The small-scale paintings often mimic the measurements of the photographs they are based on. This creates an intimacy that requires the viewer to look closely at each piece to appreciate the small details.
To paint on such a scale without losing details to the texture of canvas, the artist found himself working with wood as a surface, sanding and priming the plate until the surface is smooth and he is satisfied with the finish before using oil paints to complete his vision. His choice to leave his work unframed is also deliberate, stating that he “needs to the painting breathe”, however he will stain the sides of the wood to finish each painting’s appearance.
Although his work is irrefutably inspired by the past, Charlie manages to convey a timelessness within the candid moments he portrays. He wants the viewer to make connections to their own memories and to reminisce on their own experiences through relatable scenes of the everyday.
The work is about reflecting upon simpler times of childhood and youth, rather than entering a conversation about politics of the past. Charlie hopes that his work can bring a different viewpoint to people’s lives, and offer hope and encouragement in these unusual times.