Charlotte Maishman is Dundee based artist and DJCAD alumna, graduating from the Fine Art course in 2022. Following on from her DJCAD Degree Show Exhibition "The Fragility of Structure: Body and Mind", which featured a sculpted 70kg porcelain building, Charlotte has spent the past year pursuing her craft at Dundee Ceramic Workshop.
“Beneath the glaze” is an exhibition created for NOMAS Gallery, featuring wheel-thrown porcelain, supported on steel plinths and suspended with steel cables. The installation incorporates symbolic imagery and metaphor, inviting the viewer to consider hidden depths and shades of grey, as repetition conceals untold details.
Porcelain is built of more than its nature, but of all its experiences, holding memory in its body. It is fragile, yet incredibly strong, a complex contradiction beyond initial recognition, much like ourselves. As we endure in this journey, we are all tentative, crumbling clay. Made of flesh and bone, built of positives, negatives, and many unknowns... all deserving exploration beyond first appearance.
Having grown up living on an off-grid sailboat in the middle of the River Dart in Devon, Charlotte has been surrounded by the daily utilising, mending and making of functional creative design. This experience has given charlotte a confidence in practical making with various materials, leading her to combine contrasting elements in installation which explore the themes of the human experience as multifaceted, contradictory and complex.
She left her South Devon home after school, to pursue creative digital media for North Devon film company Maniac films followed by Plymouth college of art’s (PCA) communications department. During her time filming for PCA , she was inspired by the creativity on the campus and became interested in new artistic mediums such as ceramics and metal work, which encouraged her to make the leap to study Fine Art at DJCAD and pursue her own creative artwork.
At DJCAD Charlotte learned how to weld from Metal technician Jason Shearer as well as how to sculpt porcelain through Ceramicist and Potter Sean Kingsley. These newfound skills featuring in her installations in following years.
With a background in creative digital media, Charlotte used her films and projection mapping skills alongside her sculptures in installation work. Her 2nd year installation “untitled” was selected to feature at Alchemy Film Festival 2018, and her 4th year work resulted in receiving the Royal Scottish Academy (RSA) Barns-Graham Travel award with her collaboration partner Guendalina Rota. The duo have recently spent a few weeks in Italy to produce Artwork for the award, which will be featured at RSA in 2024.
During the summer of her 3rd year at DJCAD, an opportunity arose to work with friend and Joiner Phil Messeder as an apprentice joiner. This experience provided a foundation of valuable skills, which led to gallery installation work at The Cooper Gallery as well as a technician position within the DJCAD woodwork department after graduation.
This new knowledge has also had a profound effect on her degree show, in make and installation. "The Fragility of Structure: Body and Mind," exhibition features the study of space, both architecturally and metaphorically. It’s main feature was a 2.5sq steel cube supporting a 70kg mass of extruded porcelain beams, constructed with steel bolts, forming into a skeleton of a house (the weight of an average human body) . Through her studies, Charlotte has explored poetic exploration of the human body and mind through contrasting materials and chiaroscuro visuals, using black and white to highlight, texture, form and contrast in themes. From this degree show, Charlotte was awarded the opportunity to exhibit at Nomas* Projects in 2023. Following this, Charlotte exhibited for the Nodal collective in the Dundee Botanic Gardens, reshaping the house into a explosion of beams suspended from trees. The second saw the Porcelain house reimagined for a Dance production in theSpace, Dundee 2022. This performance “Split the dark with a crack of light” was a collaboration between Charlotte and Dancer/Choreographer Jennie Frazer, which responded to the fragility and strength of 5 year old Addy, battling the degenerative disease, Battens. The sculpture of suspended beams hung over the dancers heads, and were framed with 6 metre long black and white silks, printed from Charlotte’s photography.
After the 2022 degree show, Charlotte also started work as a technician in DJCAD, splitting her time between the Contemporary art Woodwork department and the Audio Visual department. As well as moonlighting creative endeavour, where she has begun to explore porcelain in more detail by pursuing traditional making in throwing at Dundee Ceramics Workshop, with the generous teaching of porcelain potter George Buchan.
See more about Charlotte's work on her Instagram and website.
With special thanks for all support in making and opportunity over these last few years from: Phil Messeder, George Buchan, Tanith Marron, Sean Kingsley, Jason Shearer, Malcolm O’Connell, Alan Grieg, Kevin Henderson, Steph liddle and David McCulloch.