Charlie Franklin’s practice is rooted in the language of materials, and collapsing the distinction between sculptural form and the painted surface. She approaches her work as a series of experiments, where knowledge is gained through doing, to see how colour, material and scale communicate. The act of covering is important to this process, transforming the skin surface of pre-existing forms such as cardboard boxes or off cuts of canvas. These core materials become masked and misshapen as they are coated, collaged, painted or gilded. Transmuting and slipping between categories is central to her research, negotiating the shifting positions between experimentation and ritual, presence and absence, and Minimalism and the Baroque.
Recently Franklin has begun to vary the scale of her work. Small, fragment-like pieces feel reminiscent of ruins or geological material, and cultivate a sense of excavation or erosion while they take shape. Their slight stature can make them appear as fetishistic talismans or objects of worship instilled with an unknown voodoo. Larger, more gestural works become evocations of empty ambient landscapes, like backdrops from a performance or landmarks within the space of the gallery. Traces of mark-making and the layering of paint and other materials conjure a sense of expansiveness and repetition. Often they hover between two and three dimensions, in a state of becoming or dissolving.
Suggestive of landscape, alchemy and folkloric traditions, the outcome of Franklin’s practice meditates on the physicality and charged atmosphere created by communing with materials.