Charlie Tuesday Gates is an international artist with a reputation for unique and challenging sculpture, video and performance art. Her recent pop-up ‘Shop of Amazement’ in Stokes Croft – full of absurd taxidermy, wearable art and macabre objects – has now been transformed into exhibition ‘Near Death Experience: From RIP to RSVP’.
We asked Charlie about her new exhibition, love for taxidermy and plans for the future.
What is ‘Near Death Experience’, and where has the inspiration come from?
Near Death Experience came about very quickly: just three days, in fact. My most recent artistic venture – a pop-up shop, gallery and workshop in Stokes Croft, suddenly became unusable. I had to leave short notice and was desperately searching for a new home.
In the last nail-biting hour, SPACE gallery contacted me and asked if I would like do something there. It’s amazing, but it’s only short term, so after that I’m on the road again.
I want the exhibition space to transport you into a world where beauty and death collide in particularly strange and unexpected ways. The taxidermy and wearable art pieces will delight, inspire and terrify in February’s most fabulous pop-up shop and art experience.
It’s not going to be for everyone, but I want the people who do stumble across it to be left amazed and unnerved by the art and the fashion.
Are there any pieces in the exhibition that mean a lot to you?
Every time I create something, I fall in love. These pieces are like my babies. They all mean too much to put into words and have incredibly powerful and sad stories behind them. It would be impossible to choose just one – if there was a fire I would burn with them.
How has the response been so far?
Bristol is a very open minded city and has an appreciation for the unusual, weird and wonderful! The response has been amazing. Lots of people saw the wonderland i’d carved for myself in Stokes Croft and were sad to see me go, so it’s great to have this exhibition space, even for just a limited time.
What does the future hold for you?
In my wildest dreams, I would love to get a permanent space and make it the craziest, most wonderfully bizarre art experience possibly imaginable. There would be monsters of the macabre and pieces so deadly beautiful they would render passers by speechless.
I am always searching for interesting spaces and vacant places to hold exhibitions and events so If you have space or know of anywhere that would benefit from an artist residency, please do get in touch! This one woman show has lot to offer.
Near Death Experience: From RIP to RSVP is on at SPACE Gallery, 6 West Street, from 3-23 Feb 2017. Find out more about the exhibition and Charlie’s work by visiting her website.
Read more interviews: Bristol children’s author Amy Wilson