Q – Could you introduce yourself briefly to the readers?
Hi, I’m Claire, I have a studio in Cheney Manor where magical things happen, and I’ve just got back from travelling around the US, which was an unforgettable experience. What can I say about myself? I can be shy sometimes, but once you get to know me or if we hit it off you will realize that I’m slightly mad, eccentric and seeking attention, but not too much only just a little bit. I don’t like to take life too seriously, I like to do fun things, meet interesting people and try new experiences. Oh and one day I hope to live in San Francisco with a big house, a yummy husband, two crazy kids and a couple of cats.
Q - How did you become interested in art?
I’ve always been naturally creative, from a young age. I used to spend hours in my bedroom writing stories then when I was 15 I discovered pastels… so my writing stopped and then I begun drawing. Since then I haven’t stopped creating, from making strange objects to experimenting with paint, video, installation etc...
Q - What inspires you most as an artist?
I am inspired by my experiences, my emotions, how I feel on daily basic. My work mainly captures a childlike escapism, which makes it fun and silly. Overall anything colourful, organic and psychedelic inspires me ranging from sweets, supernatural films, electro music, plant life etc…
Q - What is your favourite medium or media? Why?
At the moment, painting is my favourite medium. However when I make a painting I tend to think about how it would look together with several paintings so it becomes more installation based, which is what I have worked with in the past. I have worked extensively with latex. I love using latex because it sort of personifies my work into supernatural forms, giving the sense of something growing, organic or ‘poking through,’ like an unrequited interruption. Which is what I’m very interested in- interruption.
Q - Could you tell us some more about your work?
My work is predominantly based on play, fantasy and fiction. I work across a range of disciplines using imagination as a starting point for my work. I am interested in making colourful compositions, paintings that use toys and objects to depict silliness and conjure up a playful space. My work mainly derives from photographing, scanning or making miniature installation sets featuring tiny objects or funny necessities that are pleasing and humorous to both children and adults.
Q - How would you define your style?
Informal, experimental, bright and contemporary…
Q - What are your influences; artists from the past or present who inspire you?
I am inspired by a range of different artists including; Annette Messenger, Claes Oldenberg, Yayoi Kasuma, Pipilotti Rist and Louise Bougeoius. More recent painters would include Tal R, Danny Rolph, Marta Marce and Laura Owens.
Q - How do you choose the subjects of your works?
By listening to music and thinking about the things I’ve done, what they’ve made me feel and by wondering about what I want from the future. My work is a reflection of my life, how I want my life to be like it or what it is like now.
Q- How do you prepare yourself for an exhibition or a show like the Open Studios?
I try not to stress or force myself to prepare too much, I actually think that the best exhibitions are always the ones that are thrown together, out of the blue un-expectantly. For this open studio’s event I want people to come into my studio and get a feel of what I enjoy and work like, not put on a sophisticated, polished show.
Q - Are there territories (media, subjects, etc.) you want to explore in the coming years?
I experimented quite vastly with a variety of media during college including video, installation, sound and sculpture but all along I’ve really just wanted to paint, so I am happy to stick with that for now. Although performance art has always been nagging at me, my painting work actually has an element of this, I am currently in the process of preparing for a performance in my friends gallery in Belfast in September so that is something I am quite excited about. For subject matter, I would like to bring in content from my recent travels round the USA. I think travelling is a good source to inspire ideas, the problem is I always have too many!
Q - As an artist, what would be your dream?
I want people to smile when they look at my work and I want it to be able to brighten up anyone’s gloomy day. As an artist I hope to live a long and happy life, fall in love, make many friends, try new things and do what I most enjoy.
Q - Could you share one thing that you have learnt in your own art practice that would be useful to other artists?
Being an artist is about living, if you’re not living your life, your art will be very bad! Be bold, be different, never be afraid to try anything, and never care what other people think.