Artist Q&A: Charlotte Morrison

Charlotte Morrison, VTSU Castleton student

Charlotte Morrison is a senior with majors in English, Art and Graphic Design. She sat down recently to chat about her love of art.  

Q. How long have you been doing art, and what mediums do you gravitate towards?

A. Before I got to Castleton, I was mainly drawing based. That was my focus. But as time went on, I was exposed to more mediums through intro courses like printmaking, sculpture, and painting. It wasn’t until open studio that I discovered my outlet where I was able to use different types of mediums all at once, and now I gravitate towards mixed media primarily. 

Q. What’s your favorite piece you’ve done to date and why? 

A. In terms of concept, “People Pleaser,” because the concept was very powerful for me. It was about a struggle of mind. How sometimes people try to satisfy others, the requests of others and hide themselves, and I feel like that is an expression of myself. 

Q. What are some decisions you made in “People Pleaser” that show the theme you were after?

A. It’s a character of mine. I usually use a character to channel a theme, rather than a random figure. His narrative involves him acting on the wishes of others, like he has a mission to fulfill for his family’s sake. He has to hide his actual emotions and aspirations and put that on the backburner. I feel some people might relate to that.

The prompt of the project was reflection and refraction. When you open the cabinet, there’s a broken mirror. The concept I was going for was when you look at a people pleaser, they reflect what you want to see. The brokenness of the mirror signifies the concept of refraction. The person reflects what others want to see but they fail to reciprocate.  It’s a one-sided transmission.  

“People Pleaser” by Charlotte Morrison

Q. What piece has taken you the most time, and what made it so intricate? 

A. I have a piece not on display here, from my Jabberwolky series, in which I explored the characters of Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwocky. The whole poem has a bunch of made-up words, but you can still interpret what it means based off the general context. I always found that concept interesting. This was based off something I did in English class, where I analyzed the poem for an essay project, and it just became a fascination of mine. The project itself took forever because it’s a diorama, so it has multiple pieces, kind of like a puppet show.

Q. Are there certain themes or objects you gravitate towards?

A. One of my unique art materials, because I’m an English major, are my English drafts from Shakespeare or poems. I’ll take those essays and underline certain phrases that I feel apply to the work I’ve created and paste them around the sides. 

Q. What artist or artists inspire you?

A. I’m not really inspired by artists, per say, but there’s a writer that inspires me artistically; Oscar Wilde. He allowed me to see writing as art, and the visual beauty that can come with writing and how it can be approached as an art form. The beauty of words overall. 

“Claws that Catch” by Charlotte Morrison inspired by Lewis Caroll’s “Jabberwocky”.

Q. What are you currently working on? 

A. I have a bunch of things on my plate. For class, I’m working on this project, the prompt I chose was metamorphism. The prompts are geology concepts because [the professor] likes to make us branch out. I chose metamorphism because of the concept of pressure, and I’m creating a piece that deals with the pressure one can put on themselves with high standards and how that can change who you are as a person. 

Q. What’s your favorite step of the artistic process?

A. The sketch because there’s so potential. It can just go anywhere, and you have this creative breakthrough. 

Q. For you, what was the key to developing artistically?

A. I really didn’t discover my artistic voice until I had open studio and was allowed to do whatever I wanted. Having creative freedom allowed me to find out what themes I like and what mediums I gravitate towards. I wouldn’t have been able to do any of my pieces [on display in the Christine Price Gallery] without that freedom. 

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