My paintings explore a variety of subjects from everyday objects and childhood toys to food and glassware as well as portraits. In each case I aim to fully explore the nature of the object, drawing attention to its qualities, textures and surfaces by means of a carefully constructed composition and close attention to detail. I take pleasure in painting the ordinary things often taken for granted and allowing the viewer to see them in a new way or notice things that might usually pass them by. I have a strong interest in the traditions of portraiture and still life and like to use lighting to show a subject to its full potential enjoying its ability to bring out form and give weight to an object. Light's mysterious refractive effect as it passes through glass is a subject which continues to fascinate me and recurs in my pieces.
As well as enjoying the more serious traditions of painting I like to bring a sense of playfulness to many of my pieces and often find humour or even a sense of the ridiculous in the objects I am depicting.
Whatever response my paintings evoke in the viewer, my aim is always to bring the person or object alive to them and for them to enjoy the experience of looking.
Charlotte Harris was born in Ashford, Kent in 1981 and currently works from her studio in Folkestone. She studied at Leeds Metropolitan University, during which time she worked as a studio assistant for the artist Tom Wood, whose work is featured in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery in London. At the age of 21, she won the BP Portrait Award in 2003 with a painting of her grandmother and later that year graduated with a 1st class Honours degree in Fine Art.
Charlotte has exhibited throughout the UK and in London including at the ING Discerning Eye, Mall Galleries; Hunting Art Prize, Royal College of Arts; The Hart Gallery, Islington; Affordable Art Fair, Battersea and Fairfax Gallery, Tunbridge Wells.
Charlotte's painting of Dame Vivien Duffield was commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery to form part of their primary collection. Further notable commissions include portraits of the Rt. Rev. Richard Harries, Bishop of Oxford, Sir Peter Jonas, the Staatsintendant of the Bavarian State Opera, Lord David Rowe-Beddoe and Brenda Billington, President of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists.