Performance artist Charlie Hooker asked for an update on part of his website of performance art and sculpture, to add a new Gallery Shop portal particularly highlighting his project of collaborative performance pieces. The project invites members of the public to commission an artwork which will be created on-site at a party or get together.

A unique work of performance art at a celebration party

Charlie produces these “Save The Day” pictures using a portable large-scale Sunshine Recorder, which he can transport to any garden or outdoor location. So an exciting performance artist event can be incorporated into a birthday or anniversary celebration.

Performance artist Charlie Hooker's Save the Day heliograph apparatus

The sun-recorder installed as an event at a birthday celebration

Before the event, in collaboration with the person commissioning the work and incorporating their ideas and memories, Charlie creates a sun-shadow photograph. The photograph is then laid onto the base of the Sun Recorder during the Event. By the action of the earth moving in its orbit in relation to the sun and burning a track through the glass lens on the Sun Recorder, a drawing begins to appear inscribed onto the photograph’s surface. The process makes the seemingly imperceptible movement of the earth, visible upon the base photograph. Whilst everyone wines and dines at the celebration party, Nature is working its magic.

Talking point

As Charlie points out, “Watching the sun burn your arc provides a great talking point at an Event Reception.” He interprets the finished objects as producing “a personal memory, symbolising Chance and Fate“. This special event-focus encourages people to be outside, talk to each other, and enjoy the surroundings.

Working with nature

Charlie’s art incorporates objects, installation and audio works into his performance-based practice. Natural forces found in meteorology and astronomy form a thread running through his art career from its beginnings in the ’70s. The effects of the sun upon the earth and humans (both physically and philosophically) are a recurring motif in his work from massive public sculptures through instrumental compositions to small paper-based works.

Performance artist Charlie Hooker's Night Sky series

Charlie Hooker’s Night Sky series, created by exposing specially prepared paper to sunlight

Website coding information

I first created Charlie Hooker’s website around 10 years ago, and it’s still going strong, even though screen sizes have changed dramatically. However, for this new “Gallery Shop” section of the website I used updated code and responsive css with a new backend database and taking advantage of the Codeigniter framework’s (with Jamie Rumbelow’s MyModel) capabilities.

More about Charlie Hooker: www.charliehooker.co.uk.