Clifford Charles spent his formative years within the 'Engaged Art' practice of Southern Africa
Initially he started out with South Africa's first Black Theatre company, The Dhlomo Theatre organization. He historically graduated from Witwatersrand University in Fine Arts and subsequently worked with the Afrika Cultural Centre, an art activist group working during the struggle against Apartheid.
Subsequently he has researched, written and exhibited locally and internationally. He was invited to take part in 'Faultlines' as part of the 50th Venice Biennale'03 and completed his first solo exhibition for (Iniva) London as part of the BBC Africa'05. Clifford's 'Terror-firmer' Exhibition explored similar social issues in Rwanda and South Africa and it toured France in 2005 and 2006.
He designed an innovative multi-media dance performance hosted by Vuyani Dance in Amsterdam to celebrate South Africa's Decade of Democracy and completed an exhibition "Memory & Modernism" at a conference for Durban & Malmo University Sweden.
In addition to an Art residency at Monash University Charles ran children's workshops at "Art Play" in Melbourne, Australia. He served as the South African convener of the "South" conference for artists and crafters from a selection of countries of the Southern Hemisphere exploring the theme of artmaking in post colonial worlds.
After completing a 'multi-lingual' art book on Soweto Charles went on to partake in an art residency at Atelier d' Estienne, in Brittany. He exhibited in Amsterdam at the Thami Mynele Foundation and also at Nante in Brittany.
In 2011 Royal Academician Frank Bowling hosted a group exhibition in London, with Charles as part of the "Bowlings Cru".