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Romford artist wows with portrait exhibition of drum and bass DJs

PUBLISHED: 09:44 24 December 2019 | UPDATED: 09:45 24 December 2019

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A Romford-born artist showcased her skills with oil and acrylics at her debut solo exhibition in Soho earlier this month.

On Thursday, December 12, Charlotte Archer opened the exhibition at Cut n Grind barbers in D'Arblay Street, Soho.

Charlotte's work fuses a classic, photo-realist technique with an unusual subject: drum and bass artists.

For one night only, the former Blackmarket Records shop was packed and Charlotte, who used to attend Sanders School in Hornchurch, filled the room with portraits of renowned DJs and MCs, such as Fabio and Grooverider, Kemistry and Storm, Goldie, Roni Size and ShyFX.

Charlotte said: "I wanted to paint a collection that had meaning with the DJs who feature in my pieces and show how they have shaped the drum and bass landscape, I hope I've managed to achieve that.

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"These musicians were an important part of my youth, I discovered music through them but I wasn't seeing anything to celebrate them, until now."

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The evening was complete with drum and bass DJs playing, including Chef, Ray Keith and Clarky, who used to work in Blackmarket Records.

Other DJs painted in the portraits made their best efforts to attend and were excited to be at the exhibition, as it is not often drum and bass DJs are depicted in classical art.

Charlotte putting finishing touches to some portraits. Picture: Allegra Guinan.Charlotte putting finishing touches to some portraits. Picture: Allegra Guinan.

DJ Ray Keith left the exhibition with his portrait tucked under his arm: "I wish I looked as good as my picture! Charlotte is a very gifted artist," he said.

DJ, photographer, TV personality and friend of Charlotte's, Normski said: "She has created beautiful and powerful work that is culturally important."

He took to Instagram to show off some of the highlights of the event, which he recorded.

Charlotte moved into portraiture following a trip to Uganda in 2018 with the charity, Abode, where she collaborated with a local artist to paint an orphanage and school.

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Prior to this, much of her work consisted of murals and abstract which she painted in nightclubs in Ibiza, such as DC10 and Sankey's, even painting a portrait of Tony Pike, the infamous founder of Pike's hotel.


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