Charlie Barton grew up in the village of Shrewton on Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire and attended St Mary’s in Shaftesbury.  She later studied at Kingston School of Art for her Foundation & Batchelor of Arts.

“Across northern Afghanistan, as well as in neighboring Central Asian states, Buzkashi has been an enduring game for centuries. It was most likely introduced by the nomadic Turkic-Mongol peoples between the 10th and 15th centuries. The game which was banned under Taliban regime, is similar to polo, but a headless calf is used instead of a ball. The aim is for a member of two competing teams to pick up the carcass, weighing about 60kg, from the ground, carry it around a flag, and return it to a circle in front of the judges. The Afghans take the game very seriously & in the game I attended each goal was worth $100. It is not uncommon for riders to continue in the game with cracked ribs, broken limbs and various head injuries. The Riders often wear quilted clothing and helmets to protect themselves against other players’ whips and boots.

A Buzkashi player is called a Chapandaz. Top players are often sponsored by wealthy Afghans. The match that I saw, Kabul v the Panshjir Valley, was attended by Marshal Fahim, Vice President to President Karzai. There was no change of horses or half time.

Horses used in Buzkashi are very valuable & usually owned by wealthy men rather than the riders. Two types of horses are indigenous to Afghanistan & both are used in the game; the Quatgani, is a sturdy pony known for strength and endurance, the other is larger and is raised in the Steppes of the Faryab and Balkh province. Only stallions are used for the game, they are specially trained, for example if the rider falls off or dismounts, the horse will wait. A trained horse will gallop at high speed as soon as the horseman snatches the carcass in order to gain an edge in the game. A few days prior to the game, the horse is kept hungry for part of the day and ridden daily for long distances to toughen it up.

The game is a free for all where riders help their team by whipping competitor’s & horses. Often riders charge headlong toward the sidelines, causing the crowd to scatter. For the owners of the horses, possessing buzkashi champions is a matter of prestige. For the chapandaz, too, glory comes before money.

Buzkashi is regarded as an imitation of ancient battles which is why I found it such compelling material: a game of battle played out in a war zone”.

EXHIBITIONS:

2015
12th October – Group Show – The Loughran Gallery, 43 Cadogan Gardens, London SW3 2TB
30th July – Summer Exhibition – recent paintings on show in the Loughran Gallery, 20 Motcomb Street, London SW1X 8LB
7th-20th August The Aldeburgh Pop-Up Gallery 7-20th August, The Aldeburgh Cinema, 51 High Street, IP15 5AU
9th – 11th April – Photographic portraits of AP McCoy on display at Aintree.
2014
26th September – 4th October, Solo Show, The Ivy Club, London WC1.
1st to 8th September, The Vineyard, Stockcross, Newbury, Berks.
June 24th- Group Midsummer show, Arusha Gallery, Edinburgh.
May 19th – Demelza Auction @ The White Cube Gallery, London SE1.
2013
Dec 16th – Group Christmas Show, Osborne Studio Gallery, London SW1.
Oct 23rd – 8th November , Solo Show, Osborne Studio Gallery, London SW1.
May 31st – 2nd June, Group Show, Distil @ Studio53, George Street, Salisbury, Wiltshire.
April 11th – 14th, Chelsea Art Fair, London SW1.
April – Nanuq Gallery, Chalet Valentine, Route de Verbier Station 51, 1936 Verbier, Switzerland.
2012
November 15th-18th, Edinburgh Art Fair.
October 4-7 October, AAF, New York, USA
May, Group Show, St John’s College, Oxford.
January-March, Group Show, Osborne Studio Gallery, Motcomb Street, London SW1
2011
Group Show, Sophie Montgomery Art, 15 Collingham Gardens, London SW7.
Group Show, Cadogan Contemporary, Old Brompton Road, London SW7.
Group Show, Frost & Reed, King Street, London SW1.
Group Show, Osborne Studio Gallery, Motcomb Street, London SW1.
2010
Group Show, Osborne Studio Gallery, Motcomb Street, London SW1.
Group Show, Sophie Montgomery Art, 15 Collingham Gardens, London SW1.
2009
Solo show, Bang!, The Avenue, St James Street, London, W1.
Group show, Asthall Manor, Oxford.
Group show, Wylye Valley Art Trail, Salisbury, Wiltshire.
2008
Osborne Studio Gallery, Motcomb Street, London SW1.
Sophie Montgomery Art, 15 Collingham Gardens, London SW5.
Osborne Studio Gallery, Motcomb Street, London SW1.
2007
Solo Show, The Art Bar, Walton Street, London SW1.
Group Show, Jonathan Wylder Gallery & Osborne Studio Gallery, Motcomb Street, London SW1.
AAF, London Group Show, The Mall Galleries, London, SW1.
Summer Solstice Show, 20th Century Theatre, London W11.
Group Show, The Lennox Gallery, London SW6.
Group Show, Leadenhall School, The Close, Salisbury, Wiltshire.
Group Show, Wylye Valley Art Trail, Teffont, Wiltshire.
Group Show, Salisbury Hospital, Wiltshire.
2006
Group Show, The Mall Galleries, London, SW1.
Group Show, Recent Work, The Studio, Teffont, Wiltshire.
Group Show, Salisbury Hospital, Wiltshire.
2005
Group Show, Fisherton Mill Gallery, Salisbury, Wiltshire.
Group Show, The Mall Galleries, London, SW1.
2004
Group Show, The Gallery, Cork Street,
London W1 Group Show, Salisbury Hospital, Wiltshire.
Life Forms, Solo Show, Bath Spa University.
2000
“Demarco70/2000/The Road To Meikle Seggie”
Stanley Picker Gallery, Kingston University Edinburgh’s City Art Gallery The John Ruskin Brantwood Museum, Oxford Brookes University