Charlie O’Sullivan is a professional artist based in Devon, where she paints full time. She described the importance of the environment and her response to it:
“Living by the coast for the last few years hasn’t turned me into a seascape artist. Rather it has influenced elements like colour and scale, but most importantly it has given me a place to clear my head and restore my thoughts, both before and after painting. Painting is a very solitary activity and my paintings become a conversation with myself. So it’s no surprise to me that an odd figure, an upside-down house, a strange dog or teapot appears in my work… It’s only a reflection of my thoughts and memories.”
Charlie O’Sullivan began her career as a freelance illustrator for the BBC and Channel 4. However, it was the art therapy sessions that she ran at Hackney Hospital that inspired the images which characterise her current work. She was profoundly affected by the stories she heard there and the people she met, and they soon began finding their way into her work.
Taking her inspiration from people, conversations, tastes, fleeting thoughts and touches, Charlie’s paintings depict a series of conscious and unconscious decisions reflecting what can be seen as a journey. The narratives in her work are highly personal referencing echoes of her childhood, snatches of conversation heard on a cliff path, and figures she has known or noticed from afar.