Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Charlotte Snook - Festival 15, curator and artist

Charlotte Snook has been living and working in St Leonards since 2001. She studied at Hornsey College of Art and the Royal College of Art, where she got her MA in Painting. She taught Foundation courses across the Midlands before working as a Senior Lecturer in Foundation Studies at Central Saint Martins (2002 to 2009). From 2011 to 2014 she was Chair of SoCo Artists and she and Mary Hooper coordinated the Art in Empty Shops project in 2012. This was a collaboration with Hastings Council and Dyer and Hobbis Estate Agents to provide large scale prints of artists’ work in empty shop windows in St Leonards. Her most recent project was at the Jerwood gallery. She talks about her work in a short and lovely video linked here: To be Continued: Artists in Hastings

Q. How did you become involved with Hastings Arts forum and curating Festival 15? 
As an artist living in St Leonards you can hardly avoid being Involved with HAF, through taking part in exhibitions yourself or supporting friends and fellow artists in their shows. Openings are a great way to meet other artists and do some networking. It’s a very welcoming place. I’ve observed the fluctuations in HAF’s fortunes over the years and am delighted at its current success. I offered to help with the curation.

Q. You are one busy artist! Can you balance time working with others and time you need to work for yourself?
I’ve always found it complementary, whether working with students or fellow practitioners on projects and exhibitions but time management skills are often needed!

Q. Why did you become an artist? Were & are there particular artists who inspired you? 
For as long as I can remember I wanted to be an artist and go to Art School. Finding Van Gogh at an early age was a revelation. There have been so many artists who have influenced/inspired me at different times over the years but constant companions are Goya, Tiepolo and the English satirists, eg Gillray, Hogarth. 

Q. In the video you talk about how your work has developed. Can you say a little more about your work at the present time?
I have a great studio five minutes from where I live. It’s functional and very cold in winter, but there are no distractions. It’s always a joy to be there even if the work is not going well. The paintings I make are small, although to me the size of the picture plane doesn’t matter; I still grapple with the composition, the colour, the quality of the marks, the fluidity of the painted surface, just as if I were working on a much larger scale. There is often narrative, a sequence of the same subject approached in different ways through both drawing and painting. I shamelessly borrow from other artists, Velasquez, Joseph Wright of Derby, Crivelli and others more obscure and when I do I feel part a continuous fellowship of painters through time.
Q. What would you like to see at the Hastings Arts Forum in the future?
I would like to see Festival 15 become an annual event. So next year Festival 16 might be an exhibition showcasing Sculpture or Photography, for example.

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