Before 2010 Charlotte Verity was known for her paintings of trees and plants in her well tended garden in Camberwell, London, and still lifes of the tender flowers brought in and arranged with other objects on a northlit table, in a modern veiled version of the vanitas tradition.
Then, for the whole calendar year of 2010 she was artist in residence at the Garden Museum in Southwark, drawing and painting nearly every day, out in all weathers, with only the refuge of a lean to shed as an onsite studio. The Garden Museum, established in 1977 in the the deconsecrated church of St Mary’s, was inspired by the existence in the churchyard of the family tomb of the John Tradescant the Elder (c. 1570-1638) and Younger (1608-1662), plant hunters and gardeners. The knot garden surounding the tomb was designed in 1980 by the Dowager Marchioness of Salisbury using plants introduced or used by them. Charlotte’s drawing and painting of the life of the garden in the course of the year, confirmed by her thoughts in her diary, show an extensive knowledge of pladnts, a joy at their burgeoning and an awareness of the sad inevitability of their fading and that she might not manage to do them justice before they went. Her deep art historical knowledge informed her choices of what and how to paint, except that surely only her own sensibility can have dictated a concentration often on the moss and lichen growing, and constantly changing, in and over John Aubrey’s inscription on the Tradescant tomb.
Since leaving the Tradescant Garden Charlotte Verity has returned to her own garden and studio. Her latest work, which is the main focus of this exhibition, is a series of sepia watercolours of plants in her garden (After Rain Nasturtiums, Hanging Pears, Ivy, Daisies), brought inside (Snowdrops) or observed from her studio window at the front of the house. In several the slanting double yellow lines and broken central road markings create a surprising dynamic structure and place the lilac, roses and winter blossoms in an urban context. Looking back to earlier work, however, this diagonal line was there before in the edge of the table in Summer Rain (2009) and Heron’s Vermilion (2009), which will be shown too with selected paintings and prints, including one of Tradescant’s tombstone, to show the consistency and the progression of her work over the last few years.
Hard facts: Charlotte Verity studied at the Slade from 1973-77. She has had several solo shows with Anne Berthoud (1984, 1988, 1990) and with Browse and Darby (1998, 2002, 2007). She has been included in many group exhibitions including The Whitechapel Open, The Hayward Annual, John Moores, The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition and at the LA Louver Gallery in California. Her work is in many private and corporate collections. She has been teaching at The Prince's Drawing School since 2001 and she is married to Christopher Le Brun, the President of the Royal Academy of Arts.
An e-catalogue will be available during the exhibition.
- Open on Saturdays, 10 am - 5 pm or by appointment.
These images are a selection of the works available at the Gallery Please contact the gallery for further information