Charles Avery

The Place of the Route of the If'en (2007)

About this artwork

In 2004 Avery began a long-term project called ‘The Islanders’, in which he describes, through a variety of media, the land and the inhabitants of an imaginary island. This drawing represents the square on this island that was the site of the slaughter of many of the island’s natives (the If’en), when humans arrived. The square also signifies a division in the town as the If’en are forbidden to venture further without an accompanying human. Although appearing unfinished in areas, there are contrasting sections of minute detail that precisely describe the lively bazaar. Avery depicts the island’s characters selling their unusual goods including - ‘Dihedra’ (a butterfly-like bird with “wings so thin that they only have one side”) and the island’s legendary ‘Henderson’s Pickled Eggs’.

  • title: The Place of the Route of the If'en
  • accession number: GMA 4999
  • artist: Charles AveryScottish (born 1973)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Work on paper
  • date created: 2007
  • measurements: Two panels: 162.60 x 243.50 cm (framed: 200.00 x 300.00 cm)
  • credit line: Presented anonymously 2008
  • copyright: © Charles Avery. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2016
  • photographer: Antonia Reeve

Charles Avery

Charles Avery

Charles Avery views his work as being divided into two areas; atomic and mystic. His ‘atomic’ works are abstract and geometrical and his ‘mystic’ works consist of figurative pencil drawings. Avery prefers to exhibit them together in order to explore questions raised in metaphysics, mathematics and philosophy. He is particularly interested in the work of the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, from whom he took the idea of an atomic and mystic approach to art. Avery’s drawings are made entirely from his imagination, and although they appear to be part of a larger, unknown narrative, they are completely improvised. Born in Oban, Avery studied a foundation course at Chelsea College of Art in London, but he is largely self-taught as an artist. In 2008 The Islanders: An Introduction opened at Parasol Unit, London, before touring to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, and Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam. In 2007 Avery participated in Scotland + Venice at the 52nd Venice Biennale. He lives and works in London.