Charles AveryCharles Avery, Istanbul Biennial 2019 ‘The Seventh Continent’, 2019

Outset Scotland supported a project by Charles Avery for the 16th Istanbul Biennial, The Seventh Continent, organised by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts.

According to the Biennial’s curator, Nicolas Bourriaud, each venue that hosts the biennial represented a different facet of the exhibition. The Pera Museum, where Avery’s work was displayed, was transformed into an anthropology museum of parallel worlds — a place for faux-archaeology and artists who reinvent history. As part of the Istanbul Biennial, Pera Museum exhibited the works of 13 artists that rediscover the past. Charles Avery continued his exploration of a fictional island (2004 – ongoing) with a new installation resembling stalls of a fish market as well as several medium and large scale – from the port city of Onomatopoeia to currency to the Island’s inhabitants and tourists. The project encompassed drawings and sculptural objects made from hand- blown glass, steel and other media.

Outset Scotland’s support was invaluable in activating a new body of work, which was exhibited at a high profile and international reaching contemporary art exhibition. Not only did it propel the continuation and exploration of The Islanders but it also introduced the work to an entirely new audience, including new collectors, one of whom made a significant acquisition.

Charles Avery

Since 2005, Charles Avery has been creating an epic, fictional island, drawing on personal experience, philosophical discourse and artistic imagination. The Island is populated by a motley group of characters, including a beast named after Immanuel Kant’s Noumenon, a mischievous character called Mr Impossible, and numerous eels.

Charles Avery (b. 1973, Oban, UK) lives and works in London and Mull. Since 2004, Avery has dedicated himself to the invention of an imaginary island, new corners of which he continues to chart through drawings, sculptures, texts, ephemera and (more rarely) 16mm animations and live incursions into our own world. As Avery has said, the Island – with its fantastical flora and fauna, its eccentric cosmology and customs – is ‘a place that helps me to think.’ Selected solo exhibitions include The Gates of Onomatopoeia, Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh (2019); These Waters, GRIMM, New York (2017); Study #15: Charles Avery, David Roberts Art Foundation, London (2017) What’s the matter with Idealism?, Gemeentemuseum, The Hague (2015). Selected group exhibitions include Pluriverse, La Panacée, Montpellier (2017); GLASSTRESS, Palazzo Franchetti, 57th Venice Biennale (2017); Art Night, Whitechapel Gallery, London (2017). Avery represented Scotland at the 52nd Venice Biennale in 2007.