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Photographer: David PD Hyde

Photographer: Oscar Vinter

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Photo taken whilst artist-in-residence at Wigwell Lodge

About

Charlie Fitz (she/her/they) is a UK based sick and disabled artist, arts practitioner, writer, interdisciplinary creative and medical humanities postgraduate at Birkbeck, where she is a recipient of the Wellcome Trust studentship. She splits her time between family homes in Devon and Birmingham due to precarious housing and identifies as a part of the precariat. She studied English and drama BA hons at Goldsmiths College, University of London, graduating in 2012. She began an MA in Comparative Literature at Goldsmiths in 2014, shortly afterwards becoming chronically ill and choosing to withdraw. Since becoming sick Fitz has turned to art practice as a meditative process, a form of disability activism and as a means to understand and reclaim her experiences of illness and trauma. Her multiform works explore lived experiences of illness, disability and trauma; whilst aiming to resist and challenge the expectation that the 'sick' be patient or passive to Western biomedicine. 

Fitz is a co-founding member of Resting Up Collective and a co-director of the non-profit remote artist studio TRIAD³ .

Since 2019 her work has been exhibited in 11 exhibitions in London, Manchester, Birmingham and online. In 2022 she exhibited in group shows with TRIAD³, at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, with In Transit as part of an artist residency, at No Format gallery, with Shape Arts and in the event ‘Shards: contemporary representations of disability’ at The British Museum; in which she also ran a workshop and spoke on a panel. Fitz has had press in Disability Arts Online, Dazed, It’s Nice That and Stylist, see press here.

She has also had artwork published in Cordella Magazine, Able Zine, Disability Arts Online, The Grapevine Zine, Life Continues After, dubble, Sisters of Frida, Resting Up and more see her writing publications here. 

 

After completing her MA Fitz plans on working towards her first solo exhibition and continuing her arts practice and academic research.

You can read her full artist CV here. 

Artist statement

My work is rooted in real and imagined narratives. Through day dreaming, imagination and play I create modern myths and contemporary folktales, which centre representations of illness, disability and trauma. I frequently explore shame, objectification, power dynamics and the limits of language and representation. 

The intention behind much of my work is to express and explore my individual but nuanced experience of existence, whilst interrogating the historical power dynamics and cultural legacies that have fed into those experiences. As a sick, neurodivergent and disabled woman with a history of trauma, my work often explores the close up, personal and sensory moments of existing in a sick body and the wider, often collective, cultural and political experience of existing as a disabled person in contemporary British society.

 

Working both with tactile materials, such as paint, textiles and clay, as well as in the digital realm with collage, digital drawing, film, photography and digital sculpture I utilise the theoretical frameworks of the social model of disability, crip time, critical theory, phenomenology of illness and epistemic injustice in my research.

 

I utilise art practice predominantly for cultural activism and as a method of self-exploration. I am interested in how creative practices can help rebuild a self that is fragmented by illness and trauma. I am particularly interested in how the subject positions I inhabit, as a sick and disabled academic, creative and activist intersect, viewing my work as a continuous dialogue led by lived experience.

 

Collaboration is often at the centre of my work as I believe collaborative work honours human vulnerability, interdependence and the need for communities of care.

Contact

For enquiries contact: charliefitzartist@gmail.com

Instagram: @charliejlfitz

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