We look, admire and enjoy nature but do we see it? Nature is not just a vista, or a landscape, it is the interdependent relationships between all creatures, flora and fauna. My work explores the miniature, miniscule and microscopic, of both the floral and insect world. I am fascinated by patterns that repeat in nature on all scales, for example a branch mirrors the structure of the overall tree as does a fern frond mirror the entire leaf.
The majority of inspiration is taken from plants and insects from my garden or gardens and landscape from Sussex, Surrey or Hampshire. I explore the imagery on a macroscopic or “insect” view or through the microscope. This research is developed into paintings of oil, mixed media or ink and watercolour exploring the symmetry, pattern and order that is hidden within nature in amongst the relationships within the landscape, looking the ignored or frightening mini beasts that are so essential to the ecology of nature. I would like my work to make people reconsider nature as perfectly ordered mechanism that we dismiss as an overgrown landscape full of creepy crawlies, where in fact it is a complex ecosystem of each organism reliant upon another.
Claire has had an interest in both art and the environment since she was a child, including painting flowers in watercolour pre-school. Aged 18 Claire embarked on her Fine Art BA (HONS) degree at the Surrey Institute of Art and Design University College. Throughout university Claire continued to explore her passion for the natural by either painting or using photographic/digital techniques to create artworks of illuminated flora and fauna depicted in a fractal abstract form.
Leaving university, Claire applied for a solo exhibition at the Farnham Maltings and within six months had a successful show of 40 new artworks. Shortly after her exhibition Claire was offered a studio at the Maltings, where she has been based until her relocation to West Sussex in 2009.
During the spring of 2003, Claire had her second successful solo art exhibition, ‘Fractal Flora’, at the Windsor Art Centre. She was chosen from a hundred applicants, this gathered Claire much interest in both the local and national press. This included being featured in the national publication, ‘Artists and Illustrators’, and was asked to write an article discussing the validity of photographic and digital work in the contemporary art market.
Since starting her career in 2002, Claire has had many solo shows and exhibited at both Battersea Contemporary Arts Fair and Affordable Art Fair several times. Since 2007 Claire has exhibited at Westcott Gallery in Dorking and in 2010 was invited to do a public commission for Frimley Park Hospital. Claire has been consistently invited to exhibit in galleries across the UK and is looking to establish herself internationally.
Claire enjoys working in the community and in 2003 was invited to be a committee member/trustee for the Farnham Art Society and in 2006 was elected to be publicity officer. During her four-year term she was an active member encouraging an increase of contemporary works to be exhibited by the society. Claire has been a visiting lecturer and industry advisor for Farnborough College of Technology and has vast experience in teaching both adults and children. Claire has taught her own art courses for adults for over five years, run numerous demonstrations, talks and workshops for various local arts organisations. Claire regularly teaches at Guildford Institute, Evolution Arts, Brighton and several one-one tuition students in their homes.
Claire has also inspired many students, to do projects about her and her work for academic courses. This has included a degree student at Reading University, a GCSE student at St. Anne’s Convent School, Southampton and an NC Design student at Farnborough College of Technology.