Imogen Charleston is a ceramic artist and educator based in Christchurch, Dorset, UK.
“Now more than ever we need to reconnect with the earth, honor what it provides for us as humans. I have always spent time gazing at my surroundings on walks, observing and collecting everything from shells to wild foods and far too many plastic bottles. These objects are a source of inspiration and imbued conceptually and physically into my ceramics. It’s natural evolution that I’d eventually incorporate my native clay into the pots I make.”
Growing up on the Dorset coast with a very creative family, Imogen was encouraged to draw, play with clay and make music from an early age. After leaving school she gained a BTEC in Art & Design from Bournemouth & Poole College of Art (now AUB). She then went on to study electronics, and had a career as an engineer for over 10 years. While working, she found time to play in several bands in the local music scene. Through this, she met artist Nic Rawling and helped puppeteer with The Paper Cinema, who have toured their live animation shows internationally since 2004.
Feeling a need for change, in 2007 Imogen took a ‘gap year’ and went traveling. The trip included a 9 month journey around Japan, and further 4 months in New Zealand. Work exchange not only provided funds, it also gave her a wealth of experiences and opportunity to meet local communities. It was hugely inspirational, during this time she came to rediscover her passion for clay while staying with potter Juanita Edelmann at Seaward Pottery in Kaikura, NZ.
Imogen graduated in 2012 with a BA in Applied Art & Design, where she specialised in glass and ceramics. Shortly after this she started teaching pottery at 15 Days in Clay, founded by ceramicist Janna Edwards.
A couple of years later, Imogen secured space to set up her own studio in a converted barn, and established Moon Studio Ceramics in 2016. This enabled her to deliver ceramics classes, including a mobile pop up pottery for events.
Imogen is a proactive environmentalist, a topic that has always be present in her work. Expressed through different approaches including slip casting and hand built ceramics. From making narrative based pieces such as Dying for Dinner – to using waste materials as in Single Measures. More recently, this has taken her to sourcing her own, natural materials. Local clays, rocks and plants are gathered as raw ingredients. These are used in slips and glazes in her Hand & Earth range of functional ware, and have formed the foundation of a research project. Read more . . .
Bournemouth University: 2009 to 2012 BA (Hons) Applied Art & Design
Southampton City College: 1998 to 2002 City&Guilds Electronics
Arts University Bournemouth: 1994 to 1996 Btech in General Art & Design
Sasha Wardell: 2019 – ceramics mould making
Linda Bloomfield: 2018 – glaze chemistry
September 2021 Poole Museum
2017: Organic Alchemy – group exhibition at The Gallery, Upton Park
2012: BA Applied Art & Design Graduation show, New Designers, London
2011: BA Applied Art & Design Exhibition at Sharon James Artist Studio, Swanage
Awards & Grants
2021 Poole Museum – Artist Residency
2020 Bournemouth Emerging Arts Festival (BEAF) – Commissioned Artist
2020 Artists Newsletter (An) – Time Space Money development grant