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Photography (MA)

Charlotte Joseph

Charlotte Joseph is an artist based in London whose practice revolves primarily around self-portraiture in order to interrogate and explore themes surrounding racial politics, identity, belonging, memory and familial relationships. Through the medium of photography, she aims to create a space in which she feels fully comfortable expressing and opening up about subjects and topics that are personal to her. By putting herself at the centre of her images, she creates a safe space to invite people into this dialogue; a space wherein people, including herself, can open themselves up to vulnerable conversation without the fear of judgement. Through the lens, she has created a space of freedom to express her innermost feelings through the visual language. 

Upcoming exhibitions:

3-9th July, Off_RCA, 2023 (Atelier Alonso, Arles, France)

13th-16th July, RCA Graduate Show, 2023 (Truman Brewery, London, UK)

Degree Details

School of Arts & HumanitiesPhotography (MA)RCA2023 at Truman Brewery

Truman Brewery, F Block, Ground, first and second floors

black and white self-portrait, crouched down on wooden steps, facing the camera side on, holding a cigarette

I always hated the fact that our house was pebbledash.

Maybe I thought it reflected too much the state of the family that lived inside.

The dining table collects dust.

I stamp my cigarette out on the dirty brick driveway.

Even the weeds are dead here.

I feel like I’ve been trying to talk to you a lot recently, since I was like, I don’t know, 20 or something. Talking to you is like entertaining a bad habit you’re trying to shake, and I’ve been thinking of quitting smoking again, for good this time. So maybe I should quit talking to you. I don’t know. And I think it’s funny that I say I’ve been trying to talk to you, but I honestly can’t remember the last time I actually spoke to you, face to face I mean, apart from the trivial comment or question exchanged when we cross paths in the kitchen. And even now I’m not actually talking to you, I’m just sitting here listening to the traffic outside, writing down my thoughts in the hope that they will reach you in some capacity. I mean, I guess that’s talking in a way, maybe it’s not the best way, but I think for now it’s the only way I can manage.

I think it’s weird looking at these family photos and these videos that I can’t remember. It’s like looking at someone else’s memories and claiming them as your own, or looking at myself in another dimension, living within a unit I always dreamed of. And yeah, maybe I’m bitter that I can’t remember having something I’ve always wanted, but it makes me happy that at one point, through ignorance or truth, I did have that. I have good memories with you, trust me I do, but I think I just have to leave them as memories, and I’m starting to realise that that’s ok. After all, you can’t force something into existence that wasn’t meant to be, or beg for sun to mark the changing seasons, telling whoever is willing to listen that a small glimpse of light will do. But, realistically, it won’t. The way I think of it is that we had our time together, all of us, but now it’s time to let go and forget about the ‘what ifs’ and just accept that it ‘was’ and not ‘is’.

When we first moved in, I remember you standing on the patio in the garden and you started crying. I asked you what was wrong, and you said that you had always wanted a house with a garden. I noticed that you said 'house' and not 'home'. Sure, maybe you don’t like it now and you wish that it was different, and the constantly damp patch of grass always causes weeds to grow in the shade, but it’s still your garden, and I think that’s beautiful. And there will always be a part of me dancing between the bedsheets in that garden, for the both of you, and I think that’s beautiful. 

black and white self-portrait, curled up in a ball, back facing away from the camera
black and white self-portrait, curled up in a foetal position with face hidden from the camera
black and white self-portrait, facing away from the camera, leaning over
black and white self-portrait, curled up in a ball, facing sideways, face hidden from the camera
black and white self-portrait, laying on back away from the camera, body obscured by head and shoulders
black and white self-portrait, laying on back on the floor, legs crossed and up in the air
black and white self-portrait laying on side with back face away from the camera
black and white self-portrait laying on side with legs up, faced away from the camera