Lost Loves found again

Charlotte Goldthorpe Charlotte Goldthorpe outside the Basilica di Santa Croce in Florence, where her Lost Loves artwork was exhibited during the IFFTI Conference in May last year.

Wed, 09 Mar 2016 11:24:00 GMT

‌Artist Charlotte Goldthorpe draws on the ‘lost loves’ of others for inspiration for her PhD project, culminating in a book and exhibition

Charlotte Goldthorpe IS it possible to create objects that store memories of lost love?  Artist and University of Huddersfield lecturer Charlotte Goldthorpe (pictured) aims to show that artefacts can encapsulate past relationships.  To pursue her project she has been holding a series of Lost Love Cafes and installing Love Boxes so that she can compile recollections of romance, friends and family.

Then she will create a series of artworks inspired by the narratives she collects.  In particular, she wants to know about objects that bring back powerful memories of a loved one.

“All objects have a story.  The more someone uses an object, the more it becomes personified,” says Charlotte, who draws a comparison with music.

“People can listen to a song and instantly remember where they were when they first heard it.  Ordinary objects have that same power.”

artwork People who have spoken to Charlotte at the sessions she has held at the Northern Tea House in Huddersfield’s King Street, or who have submitted written memories via Love Boxes she has placed on the University campus, have  mentioned objects such as bracelets, shoes, hairbrushes and  tee shirts that remind them of their lost love.

The next stage in her project will see her creating artworks in the shape of containers that could, theoretically, be used to store memories of the evocative objects.  She uses a form of translucent silicon to make the containers, and vegetable-tanned leather as a mounting for them.  The leather can also be inscribed with text that relays the story behind the object.  She also introduces elements of traditional wood and metal working.

Although some of the pieces created by Charlotte could be worn, they are not intended to have a practical purpose, she says, describing them as “fashion artefacts” or a form of sculpture.

At her Northern Tea House Love Cafes she has been collecting stories in person.  The Love Boxes – and there is one installed at the Northern Tea House – enable people to write and contribute memories anonymously and there is also a form to do this on her website.

The Lost Love Project – which is the basis for her PhD at the University of Huddersfield – will eventually consist of nine artworks – three each for the themes of family love, friendship love and romantic love.

Pontefract-born Charlotte is currently Course Leader for Fashion Communication and Promotion at the University of Huddersfield.  Her career path began with an apprenticeship at the BBC in set design.  This led to work on programmes such as Silent Witness and EastEnders.

Then she turned to teaching and completed her Master’s degree in Fashion Artefact at the London College of Fashion before her arrival at the University of Huddersfield.  In addition to her teaching and research she has also established a successful accessories business.

In April, she attends the Fashion and the Body Symposium in Minnesota, USA, where she will display one of her fashion artefacts based on Lost Love Project.  Eventually she plans an exhibition and a book containing the narratives that she is collecting.

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