ARTIST STUDIO

CHARLIE FITZ

Charlie Fitz is a UK based sick and disabled artist, writer and medical humanities postgraduate at Birkbeck, where she is a recipient of a Wellcome Trust studentship. She is a member of Resting Up Collective and of the arts practice group TRIAD³. Her multiform projects broadly explore experiences of illness and trauma. She worked as the engagement assistant for ‘Coming Out’ (2017) was on the activist panel consulting on curatorial and learning strategies for the ACC exhibition ‘Woman, Power, Protest’ (2018) both Arts Council Collection(ACC) Exhibitions at Birmingham Museum & Art gallery (BMAG). She was a guest speaker at Robinson College Feminist Society at Cambridge University, presenting on Feminist art & activism (2019). The same year she produced her first joint exhibition ‘Radical Acts of Care’ (2019) in collaboration with Oscar Vinter. The exhibition was hosted online and in person in London and Manchester. Fitz had work in Profile Gallery’s ‘Virtual Exhibition'(2020), Oddball Gallery’s ‘Locked/Down'(2020) and ‘See You At Home'(2021) by Able Zine x Kiosk N1C. She currently has artwork in the virtual show ‘Exhibition: Work in PROGRESS’ by Triad³ and has an upcoming group show for women’s history month called HYSTERICAL in aid of UN Women UK and Mermaids Charity. She has had short fiction, nonfiction, poetry and visual art published.

View Fitz's:

A collage of screenshots from google photos of Charlie Fitz. In each photo she is either a patient in hospital or at home in her bed. The images are taken over a 6 year period, which can be seen from the various dates.
Thinking about the medicalisation of the home space
This week I have been thinking about the medicalisation of the home space when you are chronically ill. The AI technology on google photo is incredibly accurate when recognising faces, places, objects, animals, typical spaces and so on. But when I search “hospital” photos of me in hospital and photos...
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A collage with a beige painting of 3 women lounging with text over the top that says 'I am not an imposter'.
Imposter?
As an artist who didn’t go to art school I often undervalue myself. There are some key areas when it comes to the professional side of the arts world that I have missed out on as a self-taught artist. Through the guidance from the tutors on this residency, through collaborating with other artists,...
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A screenshot from premier pro showing a section of Charlie Fitz's film piece, with a collage painted woman in a hospital waiting room.
Painful process
Image description:  A screenshot of Adobe Premiere Pro consisting of a timeline with blue, pink and purple shapes and a green wave form at the bottom. Above in the top right is a playback box which shows a cut out of a painting of a woman placed in an image of a waiting room. Painful process Today I...
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A sinister still from a film in a hospital hallway. With collages layers of vintage hospital images. Including a nurse who is at the centre the nurses face is covered in abstract burnt colours.
Audiovisual collage and accessibility
This week I’ve been trying to bring more of my usual collage aesthetic into audio visual pieces and also thinking about what is the best way to make these as accessible as possible. Whether that’s through written visual descriptions of moving image pieces or through audio description or both....
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A square of green lined paper full of black almost illegible cursive text in English.
Archival thoughts
In our first group crit this week we discussed several aspects to my work-in-progress audiovisual pieces. One of these discussions was about how to represent the final sequence of my audiovisual piece which focuses on the “almost” experience of death. I had been thinking of recording some audio of my...
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A photo of Charlie in a bed with a bed desk over her and working on a computer which is on top of the desk. There is a window next to the bed which gives a view of other houses and there is a small chihuahua dog next to her legs.
Stanley the Artist's Assistant
As my artwork often deals with quite heavy and emotionally charged topics, most of my studio updates tend to have a similar tone.  Today, instead of sharing something about my artwork, I wanted to share something about how I work. I work from home either in my bed or at my desk depending on my pain levels...
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A photo of Charlie, a woman before surgery in a hospital bed and surgical gown.
Thoughts on the ‘The Instant Of My Death'
Content warning: medical trauma, surgery, suicide The final sequence I wanted to explore is possibly the hardest to talk about and to represent. In 2019 I was suffering from a life threatening rare complication of my illness. As there are not many surgeons in the world who can operate on a patient with...
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A screenshot of a section from the short film clip. There is pink digitally sculpted landscape with peaks resembling digital sand dunes, with the appearance of identical grooves over the landscape. There is a caption in yellow text on a back background at the bottom of the screen which reads “[The sound of someone eating. It is a loud, wet squelching and crunching sound.]”
Audio Visual Sensitivity Sketch
Audio Visual Sensitivity Content warning: viewer discretion is advised, this video includes flashing images that could trigger photosensitive epilepsy and sounds that may be uncomfortable for those with oral sensitivity.  As part of the nerve pain section of my In Transit artist residency research I...
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A shoal of green fish.
MRI audio-visual sketch
As part of my the residency I have been experimenting with archival film and audio, exploring how I can create sequences that represent my experiences of patienthood. Today I have been exploring the use of incongruous sounds and images. Sound and images that do not naturally go together, as whenever...
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A screenshot from a film, there is the ceiling of a hospital room with a surgical light, there is a dark circle around the image creating a point of view effect, as though the viewer is a patient looking up at a hospital light.
Representing Embodied Experience
  Point Of View As part of the residency I have been thinking about how I can create sequences that represent embodied experiences. Today I have been creating point of view audio-visual sequences using an eye blinking effect along with stock and archived footage. Soundscapes In a recent tutorial...
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Five images laid out together as a mood board. A scan of a brain, a photo of someone's hand in hospital with a cannula in, a vintage illustration of surgical tools, a vintage anatomical illustration of a neck and head and a vintage illustration of wasps in a hive.
Nerve pain mood board & sketches
Nerve pain mood board Below is a rough mood board for the first sequence of my film based around the experience of nerve pain and pain in general. Nerve Pain sketches Here are some work-in-progress collages or sketches I have been working on for this sequence in the film. Image description – Two...
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A screenshot of a website being edited in Wix which has been drawn on after words, labeling the headings, subheadings and paragraphs with the correct code.
Personal website accessibility audit
website accessibility audit As a sick, disabled and neurodivergent artist who works in new media digital accessibility is extremely important to me. As a low income, sick person with very little energy and no administrative support maintaining digital access best practice is challenging and can feel...
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A digital collage representing nerve pain and damage. There is a person at the centre of the image lying in a ball and it appears as though large wires are growing from their spine.
Alternative text (Alt text) versus image descriptions in art practice
Using a screenreader Alt text is a textual description of a visual image online. It is predominately used by individuals using screen readers to navigate a webpage. As an artist I have always tried to make my alt text as descriptive as possible. In our digital accessibility sessions with Andy for this...
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A screenshot of Adobe Premiere Pro consisting of a timeline with blue, pink and purple shapes and a green wave form at the bottom. Above in the top right is a playback box which shows a still of an x-ray dissolving into a swarm of bees. On the left is the effects tab with a list of different parameters.
Filmmaking Process
This week I have begun my filmmaking process. I have started with the pain sequence. To begin with I wanted to focus on my ribs. I have Classical Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome which is a genetic connective tissue disorder that affects my entire body. My connective tissue is more fragile, causing issues in my...
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A digital collage photo by Charlie Fitz. There is a vintage sepia photograph in the background of doctors in light robes, head and face coverings. At the front and bottom of the image is a photo of Charlie's face in colour, with a straw hat on. Her head is attached to a black and white image of a nurse putting a facemask on a patient in a bed. In between her shoulder there is text, which says "it's all in your head".
Residency project plan and background
As one of the resident artists for the In Transit Pilot, Charlie Fitz writes about her residency project plan, gives background information on her research and defines her method of the assisted-self portrait.
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