The starting point for Claire’s work tends to be people. She is interested in relationships, both social and familial. Much of the subject matter in her paintings centres around a desire to break free from constraints: to seek reasons or consider other ways “to be” in a world that is so complex and full of rules.
She sometimes examines things which she has found difficult: for example, her current works are about her father, who suffered from a progressive illness – hence “Haircut”, which describes a time that allowed her to be close to him, especially following a period of lockdown when they were physically separated.
Similarly, her experience in the workplace features as a subject because there have been times of turmoil. Capturing the chaos, as she saw it, in a piece of art – “Circle Time Gone Wrong” – was one way to contain and partially understand the situation.
She comments: “Lowestoft forms the backdrop to my life. The town is like a parent; an attachment is formed. Living for decades in the same town in which I grew up feels like an emotional attachment to another human being. That fact infuses my art. It reveals itself particularly in my earlier works.
“For me, the process of drawing and painting presses buttons which make me feel alive. Making art isn’t relaxing – to be honest, I think it speeds up my metabolism.
“I have always worked from life and am keen to draw from the figure. It is a luxury to observe and draw another person, but also an essential practice in terms of building skill and learning how to look. It keeps the artist anchored to a moment in time and ensures their attention is solely focused. This is what I mean by “feeling alive”.”
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