Mark Charlton - The B-12 Module

The name “B-12 Module” is a response to a “vague memory of a written concept in a 1950’s Science Fiction short story about an Expedition to Pluto”; whose theme of deep space exploration is beautifully captured by Mark Charlton’s first solo exhibition. From his apparent dislike of sharp edges on his paintings to the screen printing throughout his pieces, Charlton explores this theme with a freedom found in new artists.

Trained in animation at the North East Wales Institute of Art & Design in Wrexham before starting his own company Bluestar Animation, he has only recently started to work in Fine Art. This background has allowed him to approach his art with a good grasp of visual aesthetics but the excitement one feels when you play with new materials, though he has quickly mastered his new “punky” medium.

Charlton plays with different background colours, before layering screen prints of geometric and mathematically-inspired designs over the top. This layering also gives his pieces a texture and tactility that give away the depth of the process inherent in his work. The rounded edges of the wood suits the pieces adding to the 1950s sci-fi feel conjured by each piece.

All the components work well together and one can’t help but be impressed by the consideration going into each element. It’s made all the more impressive considering all the work in the exhibition was started after November 2014 and completed by May at his studio in Red Herring Studios, Hove.

My favourite pieces were a set of monochrome pieces based on some kind of alien surface, which most obviously points to the theme of deep-space exploration. Though each viewer can easily distinguish their favourites by the clever curation. Each “set” whether monochrome or colourful pieces are sensitively placed to show contrast in each set of work and the individual intent behind each.

For a supposed “amateur” the exhibition is a brilliant starting point for a very exciting Brighton-based artist.