Dressed in Pattern

Dressed in Pattern, an exhibition of work by Charlotte Hodes, marks the inaugural collaboration between jaggedart and Circus and is showcased across the two curator galleries.

Charlotte Hodes is one of the most innovative figurative female fine artists in the UK. She trained as a painter and now works across and combines collage, ceramics and glass into her work. Her career-long interest in decoration and the domestic, led her to embrace and centralise the female form as the subject of her work.

As an artist, Charlotte’s purpose and beliefs echo our own, as a brand strategy consultancy. We help clients define their reason for being and translate this strategy into practice, and in many ways, Charlotte is doing the same through her work. She repeatedly defines and redefines the role of women. Whatever the vessel, be it woman or brand, our roles as definers are the same. And that’s to decode the past and imagine a different future.

A student in the 80s, studying fine art, with an interest in the decorative – Charlotte was an anomaly in an attitudinal punk era. This confrontation must have had some impact because Charlotte is a subversive artist in a subtle way. She’s also unafraid to disrupt and deconstruct – creating fragments to build a whole and using a collaboration of skills and techniques across disciplines. Charlotte challenges stereotypical notions of the female form with a clear purpose; to position women as pretty and feminine in an empowering way. Often as an outline or silhouette, her signature women explore her long-standing discussion around the representation of women in art history. Dressed in Pattern, continues this conversation on the female form.

Charlotte brings together new ceramics and paintings – influenced by decorative motifs sourced from the archive of engravings in the iconic Spode Museum Trust. This is significant because Charlotte is the only contemporary artist to have been invited to work with the Spode archive. Spode being the celebrated British ceramic brand famous for their iconic Blue Italian range.

This installation of ceramics, textiles, paper and paintings form part of a larger piece of work Spode Trees & Dress Silhouettes, commissioned by the British Ceramic Biennial in 2015. It appears to recreate the aftermath of a dinner, onto which the printed images found at the Spode archive have been deconstructed, re-ordered and collaged onto the ware.

For the first time, ceramic dishes are an integral part of the paintings, blurring the boundaries between materials and the intricate patterned backgrounds. Her signature women, in silhouette, are dressed in pattern and are part of the landscape. Her females take ownership; Charlotte lifts them from being a subservient domestic observer to the table feasting participant – a place normally reserved for men.

This exhibition marks the inaugural collaboration between jaggedart and Circus and is showcased across the two curator galleries. It builds upon Charlotte’s prize winning work on paper for the Jerwood Drawing Prize in 2006, her solo exhibition at The Wallace Collection 2007 and her participation in Glasstress: White Light White Heat exhibitions at both the Venice Biennial 2013 and The Wallace Collection 2013.