Charlie Calder-Potts

2021 QEST Scholar - Painting

Charlie is an artist whose work acts as a palimpsest between past and present; looking at different cultures, countries and faiths as a means of illustrating the cyclical nature of history and through it our relationship with each other. Charlie’s mixed media pieces combine photography, oil, ink and gold leaf on supports as varied as vellum (calf skin), wood panel and armoured metal.  She has had many notable exhibitions and commissions both in the UK and abroad. Previous projects include sponsorship as an Official War Artist with the British Army in Afghanistan, a private commission in Iraq, collaborating with Persian poet Rosa Jamali in Iran (sponsored by the British Arts Council) and most recently the study of traditional Russian icon painting with Vladimir Bushkov in Palekh, Russia.  

A QEST Scholarship will enable Charlie to learn the basics of traditional Indian Miniature Painting from Pakistani miniature painter Heraa Khan. She will explore not only the historical relevance of this art form but also its place in contemporary Pakistani culture and identity, enriching her practice by discovering techniques that have remained unchanged for centuries. A solo exhibition based on Charlie’s time in Pakistan is planned for September 2022 at the Fosse Gallery.

There is a Russian saying, ‘everything new is a well forgotten old’. By placing individuals from the here and now within a traditional and enduring composition (such as The icon or The Miniature); the cyclical nature of history is presented with the ‘everyman’ taking centre stage.