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Beth Charles: Finding My Language


Thu 10 Mar 2011, 10:00am–5:00pm
Fri 11 Mar 2011, 10:00am–6:00pm
Sat 12 Mar 2011, 10:00am–3:00pm
Mon 14 Mar 2011, 10:00am–5:00pm
Tue 15 Mar 2011, 10:00am–5:00pm

Where: Taylor-Jensen Fine Arts, 33 George Street, Palmerston North

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free

Taylor-Jensen Fine Arts presents Finding my Language: New work by Beth Charles. The exhibition is comprised of work that Beth Charles, a Palmerston North-based artist has been making over the last twelve months, since her last solo exhibition at the Taylor-Jensen gallery. Finding my Language includes drawings, collage and stitched work. “Between February and September 2010 I gave myself the challenge of working every day. A drawing, a collage, a stitched piece or even some words that caught my eye, were put on to A4 paper. These became my diary, and a daily exercise in refining my visual language.” Selected pages from her visual diary will be displayed along with works from her ‘normal working practice.’

The exhibition will open at 5PM on 18th February and will be followed by a reception for the artist. The public is cordially invited.

In her recent work for this exhibition, Ms Charles has referenced the art and words of Anni Albers (1899-1994), a German-American textile artist and printmaker who wrote in 1982 about her choice of materials: ‘Something speaks to us, a sound, a touch, hardness, softness; it catches us and asks to be formed. We are finding our language, and as we go along we learn to obey their rules and their limits… the more subtly we are tuned to our medium, the more inventive our actions will become. Not listening to it ends in failure… material is a means of communication. The listening to it, not dominating it, makes us truly active, that is: to be active, be passive. The finer tuned we are to it, the closer we come to art.’

Beth writes: “My art centres on drawing, and branches out into print, stitch and collage. Materials have different inherent qualities which govern where my ideas take me as I try to do as Albers suggests and listen to what they tell me. I deal with uncertainty, and build upon an idea, or words from songs that I listen to as I work. These inspire me.”

Beth Charles was born in England and came to New Zealand with her family in 1982. She holds a degree in Fine Arts from Wanganui Community Polytechnic (now Ucol) where she majored in printmaking. She has exhibited in New Zealand and internationally, winning several awards for her work. Her first exhibition at Taylor-Jensen Fine Arts was part of a group show hosted by the gallery in January 2007 entitled Connection: New Pacific Studio, NZ. This exhibition featured two American artists who had shared studio space at NPS, located just out of Eketahuna.

In September/October 2008, Taylor-Jensen Fine Arts hosted Charles’ very successful exhibition 24 Hours: What a Difference A Day Makes featuring 24 constructed drawings with which Charles articulated her ideas about time. In February 2010 the gallery hosted Beth’s second solo exhibition Journey Into Night which displayed works attempting to capture the many ‘moods’ of the night from dreamers and sleepwalkers to the defenders beset by enemies in the darkness. Journey Into Night proved to be another popular and successful exhibition by this very creative and innovative artist.

Ms Charles is represented in corporate and private collections in New Zealand including Massey University and Telecom and in collections in Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Japan.

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