The work of Ian Charlesworth can best be introduced through its two distinct strands.  The first is work consisting of pictorial surfaces marked by a continuous series of black horizontal lines.  These lines are made from drawing a candle or burning match across the surface.  For the sake of simplicity, these can be called the line works.  The second is work developing this mark making in relation to graffiti found in charged urban spaces around Northern Ireland.  More specifically, it replicates UVF markings made from the flame of cigarette lighters that are often found on the whitened ceilings of public toilet cubicles.

The line series may be consumed aesthetically.  Quite simply, the works have beautiful, seductive surfaces.  Close inspection of the surface reveals a blurred, unfocused quality to the marks.  The marks are intangible, suspended as they are between material support and a layer of lacquer.  The draw of the eye to the surface is then diverted to follow the swirls and deviations within each smoke trail.  It is drawn to the slivers of white surfacing between two lines momentarily separated.  The sheer density, blackness and scale of the works intrigue. One is puzzled by the subtle trickery where a charred trace transforms itself into a line of watery ink.  The weight and thickness of the wooden blocks also help to convince the viewer that they are dealing with something of significance.  - Gavin Murphy ' from dark passages '.

Ian Charlesworth was born in Liverpool in 1970 and lived and worked in Belfast where he went on to  represent Northern Ireland at the Venice Biennale in 2005. He moved to Moscow in 2012 where he is now Course Leader of the BA Fine Art in the British Higher School of Art and Design.

view