Paul Charlton: Carnival
Paul Charlton’s selection of work, ‘Carnival’, started from half remembered/half fictional memories of childhood visits to Hull fair and various circus shows. Within the work is the intention to create a dream-like feeling, separating the subjects from the background to give them a floating etherial quality.
Paul is influenced by the work of Mexican printmaker J.G. Posada (best known for his ‘Calaveras’ or skeleton prints for the Day of The Dead celebrations) who used a simple graphic drawing style to create illustrations for news prints or ‘penny dreadfuls’. Inspired by his pictorial stories of events, from earthquakes and floods to murders and the birth of strange creatures, Paul has created visuals that pick out imagined side-show characters and circus performers.
“Using a mixture of printmaking, painting and sculpture, I have tried to create a sense of faded memory, embellishing imagined characters in events that didn’t quite happen in real life. By cutting out the etching plates I have highlighted the shapes of the prints in the emboss, then hand coloured them to give a tinted photograph look to them. I have carried this style into the paintings, using the wood grain as a simple background as well as painting over old screen prints, to create an aged feel to the paintings.
The sculptural pieces utilise the cut plates from the prints. Using the etched drawing as a focus on the mini billboards, echoing the sideshow signage from fairgrounds. Painted in bright colours, then rubbed back to give a vintage feel.” Paul Charlton 2016