Elite Gymnastics (2021)
Mixed Media Textile, Acrylic Paint, Cotton, Leather, Suede, Wool, Acrylic Yarn, Embroidery Thread on Calico
90cm x 90cm
This work evokes a conversation on memory, materiality, and the formation of queer identity from a youthful yet somewhat hostile setting. It looks at my memories of inner queerness amongst societal heteronormativity through my involvement with the realm of sports. I wanted to reiterate the ambiguity and wavering nature which often surrounds long past memories through the obscured figures and textural tumultuous style. Within the work I rediscover, recall and question what my memories surrounding sport meant and ponder if these formative memories have any connection to my current identity as a queer person. I wanted to create a chaotic and detailed scene which reflects the way I reminisce on my stint with sport (gymnastics) and convey why it particularly stands out as a formative ‘queer memory’.
Charles undertakes the exploration of queer identity and complexities that come with it. This is done through recalling and recollecting memory. Through combining identity and memory, he attempts to define and discover the meaning of ‘queer memory’. He attempts to uncover what constitutes particular memories as queer by reimagining unreal amalgamated scenes of the past which reflect the rickety and disjointed nature of long past memories. He seeks out common/recurring motifs and symbolism and creates narrative of both past and present. Utilising textile, paint and sculptural pieces, there is a plethora of materials which assist in capturing a memory and bringing it to life in a scenic format. The materials and fabrics Charles uses are chosen as a means of heightening the experience from the particular setting /memory I am giving physical form to as well as evoking a greater sense of materiality in the work. By utilising certain materials which were present in a particular formative memory, Charles attempts to encapsulate the omnipresent nature of textiles in a scene. Through re-visiting and re-claiming queer narratives and memories of becoming, Charles creates visual stories through a myriad of materials and mixed media.