Friday, 10 July 2009


We’re so lucky at Chelsea to have Charlotte Mann as part of our teaching team. Not only is she an inspirational tutor for the students but also fast becoming an up and coming artist to watch. After working so much in digital design it’s refreshing to see hand drawn work that is so immediate and fresh. It makes me wonder if there is a move away from digital, towards a real desire for the hand painted and natural illustrative look. Her life size illustrative murals are amazing really because of the simplicity and instinctive connection she has with everyday life. Charlotte’s fascination is illustrating people’s clutter: bicycles, shoes, jewellery, lamps, family photographs. She draws objects to real scale with a large black marker pen, directly on walls. It’s personal wallpaper documenting life’s collections that reconnects us with our familiar objects and their relationship to us. Her style is charming, warm, quirky and utterly unique. Coming from a long line of artists gives her a deep-rooted sense of herself as an illustrator that makes her work timeless. Not only is she a superb illustrator but also has a natural sense for fashion and textiles. I often watch her in amazement making a garment shape from a piece of calico with a student as if she were drawing; it’s just second nature to her to make and create. Her fashion sense has already drawn her to work with Peter Jensen who commissioned her to do a 30-metre long backdrop for his fashion show. From this ‘debut mural’, commissions have flooded in, from India Knight's hallway to a classroom at The School of Life in Bloomsbury, London. Teaching drawing, textile and fashion design is also important for Charlotte to connect with student’s creativity. She is a natural observer and listener of life who tries to make sense and order of human creativity. I just hope she doesn’t get too busy because I want her to do a portrait of my identical twin daughters!

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