LCN Story: Performance Artist Charlotte Law

January 2018


As a performance artist the search for intimacy is at the root of Charlotte Law’s practice.

Often working in solitude, her approach is research based and she is deeply interested in the insights arrived at through durational work. Conceptually, ideas of community, the flux and slippages of language, the liveliness of the landscape, and the haptic nature of knowledge are recurring, and over time the use of text and spoken word have come to the forefront of her work.

By tapping into the fantasy narratives that drift through form, she blends the actual and archaic into the intensely personal, and find ways to share the experience via a stripped down form of re-enactment, at times accompanied on prepared guitars or drums with objects, relics of action, and souvenirs of time in space, through which she aims to offer a poetic form of re-enchantment with our lived experience.

What new product, service, business system or project are you introducing to your practice and why?
Through the LCN programme I’m testing out and developing a new performance-writing methodology.  Having initially proposed to work within the framework of a residency in Switzerland – which is now on hold until the summer, I’ve put myself on a home-stay residency instead with a winter project entitled I am snow. With no parameters except a 24-hour time limit on action, the project asked for participation in the form of instructions. Instructions were welcomed from personal and fantasy practices, taking for example the form of a task, method, conundrum, or meditation to dwell on. Once collected and catalogued, all received instructions were fed through atmospheric noise – a form of snow – to generate a random sequence of action. Over 90 days the first 30 instructions in the sequence were being worked through in a cyclical pattern of three days.

This project is the framework which I am using to further explore my writing and the simplicity of storytelling.  At first I intended on producing a traditional book, but as the structure I imposed upon myself loosened and the gulf between what was possible conceptually and in reality made itself apparent, I have now planned a more interesting and performative outcome for the LCN Showcase in March.

What was the main motivation behind your application to the LCN programme?
Having recently completed my first artist book, the call to pursue and develop new forms of making came at a time when I was eager to continue this experiment with producing work within a book form. As part of LCN I went to an introduction to the London Centre for Book Arts, and had a one-to-one with Simon, the founder, which has been especially useful for my work. Being under quite strict time constraints for the project has been enlightening. Pushing me towards loosening the structures I set myself and finding creative solutions that allow me to bridge the divide between my concept and reality have given the work an unscripted and refreshing edge which I’m excited about and I would not have imagined at the outset.  

As I didn’t study art at a degree level I have many blanks in my knowledge of how to navigate the landscape of being a professional artist, so being connected to a new peer group, along with the two strands of mentoring support was a great lure and has been very helpful, as is the practical advice the program offers on writing artist statements, finance and PR etc.

What is the most useful advice or tips you’ve been given on the programme so far?
“Don’t alienate your audience!”

In a group crit when I was faced with a room of blank faces I recognised my tendency to overcomplicate, and took pleasure in the process of stripping it back to the essentials.

What plans do you have after participating with LCN?
With a busy few months ahead, which include leading a workshop on performance writing, performing within various collectives outside of my solo work and current project, and presenting my first book at the Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh. After the LCN Showcase I’d like to show and share the newly developed piece and then in the summer I will be heading to Switzerland for a residency.