Charles Avery

Biography of Charles Avery

Charles Avery is a Scottish artist whose work is built on fictional worlds and combines the abstract and figurative to investigate metaphysical concerns. Since 2004 he has devoted his practice to the description of an imaginary island which he has investigated through drawings, sculptures, texts, 16mm animations and live incursions. His work explores ideas from the fields of epistemology, aesthetics, mathematics, economics, anthropology and architecture.


Born in Oban, Avery studied a foundation course at Chelsea College of Art in London, but he is largely self-taught as an artist. The Islanders, his most iconic on-going body of work, was created within a specific framework and is inspired by Avery’s own upbringing on the Isle of Mull in Scotland. Through this project Avery has constructed a place with a population, customs, nature, architecture and history. According to the story, the Island was discovered by pioneers and first went through a colonial period before becoming a booming metropolis, being hit by a depression and finally transforming into a regenerated city of culture and tourist destination.


The first comprehensive presentation of Avery’s The Islanders project was exhibited at the Parasol Unit Foundation for Contemporary Art in London before travelling to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh and the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam. Other solo exhibitions include Pilar Corrias Gallery in London as well as GRIMM gallery in New York. Avery also represented Scotland at the Venice Biennale in 2007 and his work has been included in group shows at the Hayward Gallery in London as well as at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Newcastle. He currently lives and works in London.

Available Works: 3