Charles Avery – (Inner Circle, Onomatopoeia Zoo), 2016
I have followed Charles Avery’s work for some time as it has inspired me to think of my own drawings and paintings in a way that ensures that the spectator takes away from the work something for themselves, something that they have created within their own minds, even if it is only a question. His work is a viewpoint, a space in time that is often open to different interpretations and explanations – a world of spaces where you are free to create your own narrative. I love the way that he combines both words and images to create a ‘guide’ and ‘signposts’ to possibilities of truth or indeed fiction which also could be interpreted as a parody of norms. It is not laid out for you. You have to find those clues within the writing and within the drawings. It is a puzzle. It inspires me to continue the idea of combining fact and fiction, real and imaginary within my own work.
Despite his obvious talent for observing people and human behaviour and their physical actions within groups, he plays also on the idea of the dialectic. His work is layered both in concept and substance, by his references to Heidegger and ‘existence’ through to how he presents his work within the gallery space – both sculpturally and on paper (visually and through the written word). It is inspiring to me that through his concept of the ‘Islanders’ that his fiction is not only believable but addictive. It leaves you wanting to know more and does make you slightly uneasy because of this lack of knowing. This is borne out in the quotation from Charles Avery,
‘I am often asked what the islanders believe, in relation to A or B, but they’re a cosmopolitan bunch with widely ranging views, so this is a difficult question to answer.
If there is a consensus, however, it is of a rational bent. They prefer to argue the possibility of ultimate truth or otherwise through the medium of the many philosophical salons that occur in the warmth of the bars and clubs of Onomatopoeia: the island’s capital city. Rather this than venture in the vast, inhospitable and subjective wilderness that falls way beyond the city walls, in search of it.
In the participation of the ‘Eternal Dialectic’ – as these meetings are collective known – they are avid, for they are much more interested in the texture of propositions than the proof, and in drinking’.