The Distance of the Sun – work by Connor Charlesworth

The Distance of the Sun is a series of five vertical painted diptychs. The work was conceived after a summer art residency inLos Angeles in which I was struck by the height and stability of these thin, spindly trees. Upon returning home to Kelowna, my paint pots in my studio had dried from the summer heat leaving various circular paint skins. I harvested these circular colourful disks and applied them to these panels in the place of the sun. They are sandwiched to the panels with rare earth magnets, presenting the work with a kind of charge.

Conceptually, this work deals with our relationship to our current climate moment. I have consciously distorted the sense of space by placing the sun and various “cloud-like” shapes in front of these tree-like forms. Typically, we know the sun and clouds as backdrops to the landscape. My line of inquiry with this work poses the questions “what would the world look like with that figure-ground relationship distorted, and what value is there in imagining this? I am interested in the potential of presenting these alternative realities as ways of familiarizing ourselves with possible futures. In my work, I try to balance these concepts with allowing the painting to dictate its own outcome and maintain its own authority.


Connor Charlesworth is visual arts instructor, in UBC Okanagan’s Creative Studies Department.

A central aspect of Charlesworth’s work considers the nature of painting and representation. He is interested in taking things that are familiar, and challenging that familiarity through the process of painting. This epistemological approach provides ample space for him to pose questions about the nature of perception; how we understand images, objects, and things. Most recently, Charlesworth has been researching this in relation to the landscape. His appreciation for nature stems from a youth spent birdwatching with his brother, and plein-air painting with his father.

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