I was immediately attracted to her values that aligned so well with my own, including her passion for the environment and environmental issues.
Claire and I are collaborating on a REALLY exciting project together surrounding these themes which I am so excited for!
We discuss the environment, daily routines, studio space, influences, MTArt Agency, food and more…
Claire, Where are you answering these questions from?
I am answering these questions from my new studio, which I’m in the middle of moving into. Im actually sat on the floor with my plant Howard as I wait for my new studio furniture to arrive.
How would you describe your work in three words?
Immersive, emotional & poetic.
Tell me about your artistic process, and how each work comes to be? How do you know when a work is complete?
My artistic process has always been very physical, I constantly seek to tap into those parts of myself and others, that nobody sees. I often put myself in demanding or challenging situations to unhinge that part of our awareness that keeps it ‘all together’, that serenity we seek to display to the world, covering our dark fragility and desires. Each work usually starts with, an emotion, a word or feeling, something ephemeral that I want to explore in a more tangible way. I write a lot of poetry as part of my process and often these become integral to an artwork, I also do a lot of visual and contextual research in the initial stages. I think a completion point is different for every artist, but for me its more of a feeling, its like I have learnt a new language and I can finally contribute to the conversation.
Talk to me a bit about MTART - as you know I’m friends with Marine! How did your relationship come about?
It all started with a conversation about ‘Hope’! Hope for a bright and adventurous future but also ‘Hope’ my 2019 fine art portrait. So you could say hope brought us together, but I think inspiration started our relationship. I actually only met Marine in person around 2 weeks ago when she invited me for a wonderful few days at her stunning Art House, but before that our relationship started right at the beginning of lock down, behind closed doors and over morning zoom calls. Even in such an unusual situation it was clear to see that the ethos of both Marine and MTArt alined with mine; to continue creating, talking, exploring and spreading joy and hope through art during a difficult unprecedented time. Joining MTArt has been wonderful moment for me this year and I’m very proud to be represented along side such a talented group of esteemed artists.
What does an average working day look like for you Claire?
My average day centres around three main things art, food and nature. My Fiancé and I like to get up early and have breakfast together, we are such a foodie household and we like making everyday things like meal times special. I love living in the countryside so if we can fit in a long walk or some yoga then we will. Then I head for the studio, as I said before I have just moved to a new studio in the countryside near Brighton so at the moment its all go with set up, but normally I would start the morning in the studio listening to Einaudi, Warduna, or my favourite classical playlist, whilst making plans and doing emails. When I’m in the middle of a project I tend to get really consumed so I will spend hours immersed in an artwork and It will be 5pm before I know it. If I’m posting to youtube or instagram that day I will normally do this around 5:30 before heading home, I think social media is really important for sharing your voice and communicating your artwork, but I like to have a balance so that it isn’t consuming. I’m such a workaholic (because I love my job and my practice) so of an evening we like to have a few house of ‘phone free time’ (other wise I would be answering emails and writing down ideas all night)
As I said before we are such foodies so when we are both home form work we love opening a bottle of wine, cooking dinner together and If the British weather is treating us right, enjoying a glass and dinner outside.
Who or what are your greatest influences, and how do these come out in your work?
My greatest influences have to be nature, books, history and film. I have a romantics cinematic brain and small delicate nuances in everyday life always inspire my practice. I love the juxtaposition between beauty and pain, love and sorrow.
What questions drive your practice? What are the focuses and themes of your work?
One of the main question I’m driven to explore is, how does our strength and vulnerability as humans interact with the strength and vulnerability of nature.
As humans I feel we tiptoe on the edge of creation and destruction in a delicate equilibrium with nature and our ecosystem. We are vulnerable and powerful and yet so is nature. For me each artwork starts at this point, in both an emotional and physical way. Repetitive themes within my work are, beauty, water, earth, physicality, space, desire & dreams.
What would you say is the most significant aspect of your art? And how did this come about?
I would say my authentic voice in terms of colour, emotion and subject matter are most significant to my practice. I think finding your voice can be both daunting and liberating. I then use materially and physicality as a vehicle, a conduit to transport a thought, colour or feeling to a new dimension.
If you could own one piece of artwork in the world, as if money or likelihood was no issue, what would it be and why? Where would you hang it?
This is honestly such a hard question, there are so so so many contemporary and classical pieces I would love to own! Off the top a James Turrell for my bedroom and a Richard Serra for my garden, but then classically I would love Botticelli's Primavera for the living room to inspire magic and daydreams. (sorry I know its not one haha)
If you could have a meal with any artist from any time:
a) what would the meal be:
My guilty pleasure meal is my home made Mac & Cheese so it would have to be this with a glass of Pure Mirabeau.
b) who would it be with?
It would be with Hans Holbein the Younger because I have an obsession with Tudor history and like any true artist I would want all the lewd gossip from the court of Henry VIII.
Do you have any upcoming shows/ exhibitions/ incentives we should know about?
I'm currently exhibiting in a show in Monaco called ‘Hope Ratio”, then later in the year I will be exhibiting in a group show ‘Ethereal’ at the Paris Photo Off from 13-15 November. I have so many incentives I want to push this year and on into next year, I am deeply passionate about the environment and I have a few projects in the pipe line to support this vast cause and continue to raise awareness of out delicate ecosystem and environments! Also once my new studio is fully operational I want to open the doors to everyone; hopefully hosting group studio visits, one on one art viewings and most excitingly, Art, wine & cheese evenings.
Favourite historical female artist?
This is sort of cheating as she is still practicing but the dreamy, Yayoi Kusama.
Favourite current practicing female artists and their instagram handles?
@heatherday @sopopomo @brookedidonato @corneliaparkerartist @alexandria_coe @carla_cascales_alimbau @linlinglu @junocalypso
Is there anything else you wanted to say?
I wanted to leave you with my poem ‘Seeds of Doubt’
HOPE (SEEDS OF DOUBT)
they sow the seeds of doubt
night and day
it enters our subconscious
into our nervous system since birth
we plant it in each other
to boost our own
thinking that stealing our neighbours
will land them in shade
but though doubt spreads its roots in winter
it will never be evergreen
the truth can fertilise
and it blooms all year long