Ms Charlotte Warne Thomas

Research project: Golden Age; On the contemporary agency of gold


My PhD is a theoretical and practice-based research project, examining the changing role of gold since the departure of the major world economies from the international gold standard, tracing the implications of this shift for its agency as a material within contemporary art. Via an examination of the use of gold in recent visual and material culture histories and an economic analysis of its changing status, I intend to reinterpret its agency as an art material, with specific focus on the moment Nixon removed the dollar from the international gold standard in 1971.


I am an artist and educator based in London, with an interest in the artistic agency of gold. Since graduating from my MFA in 2009 (Goldsmiths), my practice has explored the concept of and conflicts surrounding value and worth via the "mystical character of the commodity" (Marx). Specifically I have studied the creation of luxury, functioning to add speculative financial and kudos value to products, designed environments, and art. I frequently deploy real gold, gold plate, gold leaf, artificial gold and gold paints to elicit the complex dual roles of gold as adornment and as money.

I have exhibited in the UK and internationally, and am co-director of Peer Sessions, an educational platform providing postgraduate crit groups and collaborative research opportunities for artists.


  • MFA Goldsmiths (2009)
  • BA Fine Art Leeds (2002)
  • PGCE LLS Greenwich (2012)

Funding or awards received

  • TECHNE funding for doctoral student research 2017-2023
  • AHRC (Professional Preparation Masters Scheme) 2007-2009