Charles Shearer was born in Kirkwall, Orkney, in 1956 and studied at Gray’s School of Art, Aberdeen and at the Royal College of Art, London. His primary interest is in landscape and in particular those places and spaces that nature has reclaimed. Charles makes regular visits to Southern Ireland in his search for material, plotting his routes from ruin to ruin. Those once great mansions remain, ivy clad and ravaged by near a century of weathering, all in glorious neglect. Industrial spoil heaps and edge of town brown field sites also attract by their transience, their hoardings, pylons, stagnant pools and rutted tracks.
Everything begins and is developed through drawing, this is fundamental to what he does so the sketchbook has become an ongoing depository for working ideas and developments as well as visually documenting his day to day observations and the journeys he makes about the land.
“My interest in printmaking, with all the creative possibilities inherent within the media has made the print room a perfect environment in which to engage with machines and materials to create and develop ideas. Alongside traditional printing media such as etching, lino and woodcut printing and the more free methods of mono and stencil printing where the chance and accidental play a vital part. It is the crafting and sculpting of the humble cardboard or collagraph plate that I find most satisfying. Images of subtle depth and great complexity can be achieved using only a cheap craft knife and a range of tools, some specially adapted for the purpose. It requires the careful inking and layering of colour and finally the exacting pressure of the press to give best and consistent results. I find the printing plates after use have a beauty in themselves and have them propped up like sculptures around my studio.”
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