Charlene Kasdorf (b. 1978, Winnipeg, Canada) earned a masters with distinction in Museum and Gallery Practice from UCL Qatar in 2020. Her thesis explored how ephemeral drawing-creating builds a sense of self. This Arts-Based Research was supported by literature research in the neuroscience of sight and memory as well as auto-ethnographic research. In Charlene’s own home, and as a professional artist, illustrator, and educator, she draws and creates with her own children, enabling and following their inquiry, encapsulating fleeting moments of visual thinking-doing into tangible and collaborative artworks. In turn, this collection has grown into a figurative museum. It hosts an evolving visual language, one that holds aesthetic truth.
The Quest for Colour
A short background story
Charlene grew up in central Canada. Familiar colours were the blue snow, lit by the streetlights on the walk home from school. A complementary blue was the big prairie sky; it reached the horizon line, in all directions. Charlene lived amongst these blues until she was curious about other hues.
After wandering for some time, she stayed in a place to watch the yellow greens of afternoon tropical rainstorms. She continued on. To a town where mountains cut into the vastness of the blue sky. The lake below compensated for the loss of blue area.
Charlene formally studied during this quest for colour; she wove colour into essays objectives and thesis questions. The next destination was host to a maximalist colour palette –– most satisfying. Divergent styles, fashion, and cultural colorworks were intensified by the dense space of this super city. Alas, colour can only feed the eyes and mind.
Another move. Seemingly void of colour, the sand-colour was as continuous as the blue prairie sky was vast. Charlene’s colour quest was latent…and content. After some time, her sensitivity to contrasts stirred with particular acuteness, the way vision adjusts in the dark. It’s arguable that she could see colour better than in any other place prior. Still, the sand-colour reached the horizon line, in all directions; the foreign grew familiar. And the familiar colours became fascinating again.
- Charlene’s German-speaking grandparents were born in Russia, immigrated to Paraguay and Brazil, where her parents were born. She was born in Winnipeg, Canada.
Her two sons were born in none of the countries mentioned.
- In third grade, Charlene taught her friends to “shade”.
- She learnt to “jog” and collate paper when she was about 12 years old,
at her parents’ commercial printing shop.
- She met with a private drawing teacher at 17; her high school was too small to offer art classes.
- Her first job after high school was at a Ford factory. She was promoted to auditor.
There is no visual record of this year.
- She taught Drawing & Painting and was a Dorm Head at a boarding school in Switzerland.
- Her weakness is paint swatches in hardware stores.
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