Charles Avery was born in 1973 in Oban, Scotland, and lives and works in London and Mull. Avery’s artistic concepts are permeated by a constant philosophical component in his on-going multi-disciplinary project, The Islanders, a fictitious island simply called “The Island”.
Raised on the Isle of Mull off the west coast of Scotland, he moved to London in 1993 and briefly studied at the Chelsea College of Art; later devoting himself to his artistic activity with Peter Harris and, in 1996, opened Uncle Grey Presents, an independent space. Like twenty-first century Thomas Moore, Avery’s practice has been entirely devoted to the The Islanders since 2004. Through a wide range of works made in different techniques, ranging from sculpture, video, drawing and texts, Avery thoroughly describes this imaginary world without neglecting any area, letting us know not only the population of “The Island”, but also its flora and fauna, architecture and history. Over the years he has evolved different parts of his fictional universe, focusing on a device called the “Eternal Forest”, a forest inhabited by a mythical beast called the Noumenon, and the capital, Onomatopoeia, a metropolitan port city whose customs transcend those of eras and countries to which the history books have accustomed us. For these reasons, Avery’s encourages the audience reflect on issues such as social policy, globalization and the historical progress, while clearly distancing from them. Avery’s work has visited many exhibition spaces such as the Parasol Unit Foundation for Contemporary Art (2008) and Tate Britain (2009), both London; the Kunstverein (2009), Nuremberg; the EX3 Centre for Contemporary Art (2009), Florence; the Centre for Contemporary Art and Gallery of Modern Art (2011), Glasgow; the FRAC (2010 and 2013), Paris; The Gallery of Modern Art (2014), Edinburgh; GEM (2015), The Hague; The David Roberts Art Foundation (2017) and Pillar Corrias (2017), both London.