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Charles Somerton

“Through art we seek knowledge. We are the sentient universe investigating itself and looking for answers to the ‘big’ questions. Ultimately, the one truth that we can rely on is that we can only experience the present moment.”

Charles Somerton lives and works in Exeter, having settled down after several years travelling abroad. His paintings have a rich, deep, tactile surface and an exuberant colour palette which Charles mixes solely from the three primary shades. The sense of harmony present in his works is strongly reminiscent of traditional mandalas, reflecting his observation of similar patterns appearing in ancient artworks around the world.

Cosmography: Paintings and Drawings by Charles Somerton will be on display in Artizan’s Main Gallery in May 2017 as a part of our 2017 Solo Series.

The exhibition will run from 1st – 20th May with a ‘Meet the Artist’ private viewing on 4th May.

About the Work

"I have always worked automatically, spontaneously creating marks and symbols in geometric formations. I have subsequently found the same patterns and codes in “primitive” art from around the world and throughout history. Seeing those objects having already independently produced similar works has helped me to understand the nature of our own unique consciousness as a channel for our creative capabilities.

Through my enquiry I have come to believe that all creativity comes from the same source and it is through our consciousness that we have the ability to tap into it and receive inspiration. The world of form can only provide the means by which we make art, be that through materials or experience.

Art is process. Creating a work of art is a mystic journey; the result is a sacred object symbolic of the activity. At the outset of a piece I have a basic vision of what I am trying to achieve, but the magic takes place as the layers build and the geometric structure complexifies. In a ritual process, rhythms, contrasts, accidents and actions collide in fluid motion; then like grains of sand coming to rest in the desert everything ends up in its right place. As with traditional mandala my paintings are essentially an abstract representation of the universe. Making art, like meditation, clears my mind and allows me to be. With my paintings I aim to draw people into a state of presence; to focus their attention."



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