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Charles Avery has dedicated himself to a singular world-building project through the depiction of an imaginary island. Titled "The Islanders", this project describes the formation of Avery's extensive fiction through drawings, writing, objects, architecture, and design.

The Island at the center of Avery's constructed world is located among an archipelago of innumerable constituents. The gateway to the Island is the town of Onomatopoeia, a highly-textured metropolis that bears the hallmarks of an evolving urban landscape. Once the stepping off point for the pioneers who first came, the town experienced rapid transormation from a colonial outpost, to boom town, bustling metropolis, depression-ravaged slum, and finally a regenerated city of culture and tourist destination. The culture and fabric of the Island continue to evolve, further illuminated with each successive work.

The spirit of Avery's imaginary Island is highly engaged with the disciplines and currency of mathematics, philosophy, economics, and anthropology, and he takes inspiration broadly from literature and comedy. Key elements from his drawings are rendered in physical form in his sculptures and installations. As Avery has said, the Island is "a gymnasium for the imagination and an earnest attempt to align the experience of the viewer with that of the artist." 


Charles Avery (b. 1973 in Oban, UK) lives and works in London and on the Island of Mull (UK). Recent solo exhibitions include: Zoo, Hat, Bridge, Tree: Architectural Propositions of Onomatopoeia, Vistamarestudio, Milan (IT); a wall, a bridge, an arch, a hat, a side- show, a square circle, a group of friends, and two one-armed snakes, GRIMM, New York, NY (US); The Taile of the One-Armed Snake, GRIMM, Amsterdam (NL); The Gates of Onomatopoeia, Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh (UK); These Waters, GRIMM, New York, NY (US); Study #15, David Roberts Art Foundation, London (UK); The People and Things of Onomatopoeia: Part 2, Pilar Corrias Gallery, London (UK); Charles Avery, GRIMM, Amsterdam (NL); Charles Avery, Pilar Corrias Gallery, London (UK); The Improbable City, Edinburgh Art Festival, Edinburgh (UK) Charles Avery: The People and Things of Onomatopoeia, Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh (UK); What’s the Matter with Idealism?, GEM, Museum for Contemporary Art, The Hague (NL); Fig-2 2/50 Charles Avery, ICA Studio, London (UK). 

Recent group exhibitions include: Inaugural exhibition, GRIMM, New York, NY (US); The City & The City & The City, curated by Tom Morton, Frestonian Gallery, London (UK); Other.Worldly, Fries Museum, Leeuwarden (NL);  Away in the Hill, GRIMM New York, NY (US); Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts, London (UK); the 16th Istanbul Biennale (TR) titled The Seventh Continent, curated by Nicolas Bourriaud; the Royal Academy of Arts, London (UK); NOW at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh (UK); Auto fictions – Contemporary drawing Prix de dessin Guerlain, Wilhelm Hack Museum, Ludwigshafen am Rhein (DE); Rhapsody in Blue, Museum Voorlinden, Wassenaar (NL) and GLASSTRESS, Palazzo Franchetti, 57th Biennale di Venezia, Venice (IT). Avery’s work can be found in the collections of Tate, London (UK); Arts Council England Collection, London (UK); Kunstmuseum, The Hague (NL); Edinburgh City Art Centre Collection, Edinburgh (UK); Museum Voorlinden, Wassenaar (NL); Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam (NL); and David Roberts Art Foundation, London (UK), amongst others.