Approved: 16.08.2006

Anne Charnock

Artist, Journalist, Writer

Approved: 16.08.2006

Text Art and Painting

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Artist Statement

Text Art and Painting

The Uncertainty Series is an ongoing body of work that mimics the 'track changes' function in word processing programs. This format allows Charnock to reveal the doubts she experiences during her art-making - giving solid form to meandering and often contradictory thoughts. An installation at Mid Pennine Gallery took the form of vinyl works spanning two walls of the gallery.

According to Prof Michael Corris (2), the Uncertainty Series is:

'the story of authority rebuked, of certainty suspended, of an internal dialogue made manifest in the world . . . In one work, viewers find the sentence: “I don't often believe my end-result is driven by my original idea.” As they stumble through strike-throughs, lose their way and retrace their steps, a conflicting sentence emerges: “I always have a clear idea that drives my practice.” . . . We read phrases that are, so to speak, false starts. We trip over ourselves, and in so doing rehearse Charnock's uncertainty.'

Charnock's paintings within the Uncertainty Series, like her current abstract work, reveal the process of their making. Again, they can be read. As Corris points out:

'One is not even certain that Charnock recognises any substantial difference between writing and painting, in the sense that the spectator receives these forms as forms that demand different kinds of engagement, different modes of address, Thoughtout her diverse practice, one senses a liberating disregard for such certainties.'

Michael Corris, “Rethinking Writing: Anne Charnock and the Art of Language” in Certainty Suspended, Castlefield Gallery Publications. September 2008.


In her recent practice, Charnock investigates the essential characteristics of painting. She initiates her paintings with simple flick-of-the-wrist ink splashes or she drips ink from a pipette. In recent works, gravity is the main agent in her picture-making. There's a tension between control, spontaneity and chance.

Charnock's working method is easy to trace and the viewer becomes an active participant in unpicking her process. In other words, the viewer reads the paintings.

These works are playful and call to mind the work of Atsuko Tanaka, Ian Davenport and David Reed. On her studio wall she has pinned a quote from Ian Davenport about his own painting:

'big drips . . . absurd, quite stupid really . . . a journey from a dumb thing to somewhere else.' (from Jackson Pollock Revisited, by Anna Moszynska, Contemporary Visual Arts Vol 22.

CV & Education

Public realm

2017 - TextImageText intervention curated by Andrew Bracey in Methodist Chapel, Waddington Lincolnshre. 

2008 - Vialaartist Art Takes the Streets, city centre, Valencia, Spain

Qualifications and training

2001 - MA Fine Art, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester

1999 - BA Fine Art, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester

Solo exhibitions

2008 - Over Statements, Mid Pennine Gallery, Burnley

2006 - Anne Charnock, Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Preston

2006 - Anne Charnock and Chris Clarke (parallel solos), Cornerhouse, Manchester

2006 - Artefact, FACT, Liverpool 2006 - Uncertainties, Art Gene, Barrow in Furness, Cumbria

Group exhibitions

2013 - Between The Lines: Exploring Language Systems, AXIS Curated Selection by Helen Hillyard, MA Curating the Art Museum, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Online

2011 - The Title Art Prize, BLANKSPACE, Manchester

2010 - Paint, Beldam Gallery, Brunel University, Uxbridge

2010 - Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition, Piccadilly, London

2010 - Universal Shipping Box, Jardin Luminoso, Projektraum Schwarz, twenty+3 Projects, Buenos Aires, Berlin, Manchester

2009 - " . . . ", Galleria Omphalos, Terlizzi, Bari, Italy

2009 - FRINGEMK Painting Prize, Middleton Hall, Milton Keynes

2009 - if p then q, poster commission, Text Festival, Manchester

2009 - Not At This Address, Bury Museum and Art Gallery, Bury

2009 - The Agency of Words, Text Festival, Bury Museum and Art Gallery

2009 - Writing Exhibitions, Stanley Picker Gallery, 7.9 Cubic Metres, Kingston University

2008 - SWAP–VAIHTO, Bureau Gallery & Cable Factory, Salford and Helsinki

2007 - Public Pages, Dartington College, Plymouth 2007 - Rich and Strange, Flock Gallery, University of Wales., Newport

2006 - ]BracketTHIS[3 , Arena Gallery, Liverpool Biennial Independents (A Foundation) 2006 - BracketTHIS3, Liverpool Biennial Independents, Arena Gallery, Liverpool

2006 - In Exposed Areas video screening, Kulturbunker, Cologne 2006 - PrintROOM, Bureau Gallery, Salford

2005 - Different Alphabets, Text Festival, Bury Art Gallery, Bury

2005 - On the Shelf, Compartment initiative, Manchester

2004 - MAX 10 Screenings, Newlyn, Newlyn Art Gallery

2004 - Media(tion), Doncaster Museum and Art Gallery, Doncaster

2004 - Prizewinners Exhibition, Surface Gallery, Nottingham

2004 - Processor, Warsaw Projects (Another Product), Manchester

2004 - Screenings, Candid Arts Projection Room, London

2004 - The Bigger Picture, Exchange Square Big Screen, Manchester

2004 - Typo - Writing with Style, Moderna Museet, Stockholm

2003 - Eve of Destruction, International 3, Manchester

2002 - Atoms in the Family, International 3, Manchester 2002 - Ladies Only, Liverpool Biennial (A Foundation), Liverpool

2001 - All Colours Will Agree in the Dark, Cornerhouse, Manchester 2000 - Blind Date 2, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn

2000 - Interim, Ove Arup Gallery, Manchester


2006 - Anywhereblogs, Manchester Literature Festival, Manchester Artist talks

2004 - Expert Gallery Talk, JODI exhibition, FACT, Liverpool


2012 - Joya - Art+Ecology, Cortijada Los Gázque, Andalucia, Spain

Competitions, prizes and awards

2011 - The Title Art Prize, BLANKSPACE, Manchester 2009 - FRINGEMK

2009 - Catalogue Finalist, Milton Keynes

2008 - Arts Council England individual grant, "Certainty Suspended" publication, publisher Castlefield Gallery Publications

2003 - Lens-based open competition (first prize), Surface Gallery, Nottingham Educational experience - tertiary

2004 - Visiting studio tutor ongoing, MA Art as Environment, Manchester


2013 - “The Dark Would, Language Art Anthology": Edited by Philip Davenport.

2008 - "Certainty Suspended", Exhibition catalogue for solo show at Mid Pennine Gallery. Essays by Prof Michael Corris and Dr Fiona Curran.

Fiction and Awards

I have written four novels and a novella:

A Calculated Life (2013, 47North) Shortlisted for the Philiip K. Dick Award and the Kitschies Award.

Sleeping Embers of an Ordinary Mind (2015, 47North) One of The Guardian's "Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Books of 2015"

Dreams Before the Start of Time (2017, 47North) Winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award and shortlisted for Best Novel, British Science Fiction Association.

The Enclave (2017, NewCon Press) Winner of Best Short Fiction, British Science Fiction Association.

Bridge 108 (2020, 47North)