Photo: Charlie Warde in London

Charlie Warde

Artist, Project manager, Event organiser, Community worker


My practice is informed by the politics of urban planning and architectural intervention. I question how the utopian ideas behind Modernism’s post war housing estates match up to their creators’ prescribed vision. I chart the decline of egalitarian belief systems, the building blocks to construct a better world, and lament their passing. I refer to the aesthetics of the clean lined architectural blueprint, interpreting this as bound up with the architect’s initial utopian fantasy. I then trace this through to actual buildings, the lived in reality of degraded and depreciated structures, dystopic concrete backdrops – the high-rise villains of London’s skyline.


As in the case of high-density urban dwelling, the foundation of my practice is community. Its outcome is dependent on the project in hand, be it an evaluation of Modernism’s utopian construct, or the positive dynamics of unplanned sprawling informal cities.


Each series of work that I embark upon is unique. The critique of Modernism is best suited to a cold, precise technique using machined metals and chemical materials. Or the repetitive production of 230 etchings to form a stop-frame animated film – the prints given away to the residents of the tower block depicted. Landscapes of slums - informal, or arrival cities - are best conveyed by plastic, or three dimensional means, built out of a mass of colourful individual blocks of paint to highlight their potential and vibrancy. Materials and process straddle the divide between disciplines. Paintings are sculptures, prints become films or paintings and photographs emerge as drawings. 

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Location London
Activities Residencies, Community arts, Participatory projects, Private commissions, Film-making
Artforms / type of project Architecture, Drawing, Painting, Printmaking, Research

News & Events

  • Artist in Resident at The Goldfinger Factory, Trellick Tower.

    My first Goldfinger themed residency at 2 Willow Road (2013) focused on the community aspect of his social housing schemes. This time, I am concentrating on the materials of his architecture: concrete

  • Homes of Tomorrow

    a four part sonic exploration of modernist architect ernö goldfinger’s utopian drive to build for a better world.

  • This Must Be The Place

    09/10/2013 – 03/11/2013
    2 Willow Road, London, London, NW3 1TH

    Exhibition of the work produced throughout my Residency at 2 Willow Road, home of Ernö Goldfinger, now a National Trust run museum.

    Find out more

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