Charlotte Rutherford is a young, self-trained photographer and director known for her vibrant, considered and fantasy-rich photos and videos. Born in the city of Norwich in England, Charlotte first learnt of photography as a medium at 16. Her obsession with videos began as a child when hours were spent watching 90s music videos and cartoons such as Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Bill & Ted, Space Jam and Dumbo on repeat. Later, Charlotte applied herself to the medium in the same way she did photography: with an unwavering passion to create with whichever tools were on hand and a lighthearted approach to trial and error.
I’ve always wanted to make things but when I first started shooting I was clueless about what photography really was.
At 16, I’d take photos of people to draw from but then it seemed pointless, like what is this drawing doing? All I wanted was to make something involving people and I realized a photo was enough. With videos, I never thought I could make one and it still blows my mind watching movies, like how was this created? I used to watch music channels and cartoons all day and had never thought there was a way into the world of video, but then I made one for an artist which was all cinemagraphs. It was so fun and less intimidating than I thought it’d be.
I’ve made up dances, shows and songs for my family and friends for as long as I can remember.
I’m really emotional and instinctive so I don’t think I actively thought of it as expressing myself, it was just me working out how to handle emotions and messing around doing anything that made me feel excited. I remember being given a disposable camera when I was a kid and 1/3 of the pics were selfies, 1/3 pictures of toilets and 1/3 pics of trying to catch action shots of pee mid flow (laughs).
I love oily, shiny gel looking things and anything that looks tasty and edible.
I’ve always found it strange making work that uses just one sense (sight) when sound and texture are really important to me. I’m currently working on ways to expand my work into something 3D and live. I love velvet and silk – when I was a kid I’d obsessively rub the silk tags from my clothes on my face. I recently got this fidget cube which isn’t so much a texture, but a cube with different click buttons on to play with. Everyone should buy one, they’re so fun and make me go crazy.
Any time I’m in or looking at water, I get really overwhelmed.
My favorite thing to do is to lie in water outdoors with my ears under so I can’t hear anything. I love looking at water and clouds, every time I do this I always think ‘this is the best moment of my life!’ When I went to Iceland, we went to these special baths in the snow and it was super sunny and the water was bright blue and it was really insane. Travelling to Iceland recently has really made me realize that your location totally effects your work, style, and attitude.
I obsess over people who are just doing their thing, totally sincerely, whether it’s something cool or weird or boring to everyone else.
I’m of course interested in pop culture and how and why we have a fascination with humans as brands. I ADORE Madonna and Rihanna because they’re both strong and unapologetic. I also love Kate Bush, she’s such a major major genius and I watch the video of her 1979 tour frequently – it makes me lose my mind. From my generation of artists, I love Karim Boumjimar aka @BeigeType, Matty Bovan aka @BabbyM and I really love Charli XCX and Princess Nokia. All of these people really inspire and motivate me!