Emerging artist Charlotte set for Chichester Festival Theatre residency

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Artist Charlotte McCarthy says she has every intention of trying to gain insight into every aspect of theatre life when she takes up a residency at Chichester Festival Theatre.

Charlotte, who is an MA fine art student at the University of Chichester, has been named as the Chichester Festival Theatre’s 2019 Emerging Artist in Residence.

Sculptural installation artist Charlotte has been handed extensive access behind-the-scenes at CFT for the residency — and this year’s theme is “senses”. The culmination of the residency will be an exhibition later in the year.

Charlotte says that she is particularly thrilled at the prospect of being able to “explore the experience of the theatre through my own, the staff and visitors’ perspectives. I intend to gain a deeper insight into the workings of the theatre — from learning just how objects and props are made, used and handled; to delving into the archives to discover more about the physical structure of the building and how the original intentions of the architects affect how people actually use the space today.”

Charlotte’s residency — which is the fifth annual artist’s residency at CFT, in a continuing partnership between Chichester Festival Theatre and the University of Chichester’s Fine Art Department — will contribute to her MA degree.

And she will also support the work of the Learning, Education and Participation department (LEAP) by contributing to the Theatre’s programme of workshops and events and supporting young people taking part in the Arts Award scheme.

Charlotte says she has been able to develop a certain freedom since she has been at the University of Chichester’s Fine Art Department and in particular she has been able to work to a scale that suits her.

She explains that during her school years the opportunity to “go large scale” wasn’t an option but this is certainly the case at university. In an interview , she said that at school

“you are doing just little paintings and tiny clay works, but here you have got the freedom to go much bigger. You have got the freedom to go large scale. My concept is that I am exploring space and how the human body interacts with space.”

A series of wire-framed cubes makes up the main body of her work at university and Charlotte added that she is trying to define space and

“make people aware of the area around them. Each individual cube is a defined area of space, and by accumulating them together. Each cube is defined by its edge. It is almost a barrier, but it is not. They are not welded together. They are just balanced.

“With installation art, you have to be able to take it down pretty quickly. I have been able to develop my practice and rework and rework it. I am still discussing with tutors whether I want people to interact with the work, move the cubes around. I am wanting to see how people interact with the space.”

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