Clare Carswell MA(RCA), is a British Irish artist working with performance & drawing to make works for the gallery, for platform events and in the public space. She makes works that reach non-art as well as art going audiences. She has performed in a bathroom, a cathedral, a chateau, at a birthday party, in gardens and in the street.
Recent works such as SMILE KEEP SMILING, SUGAR SUGAR, SHOW HOLES & WONKY hover between ward round and slapstick as they share the tragedy and comedy in inhabiting a changing older body, the need to maintain and test endurance and strength, and the ability to motivate and connect with others through acts of imagination.
Clare uses song or the spoken word as well as strategies of play, comedy and improvisation in works that are open to situation and moment. Rooted in a fine art sensibility and feminist strategies, they use object, gesture
and the drawn mark to make works that are interactive and that migrate between the planned and the spontaneous. She seeks to engage with audience to invoke personal or collective culturally resonant memories and to propose new and inventive ways of sharing our stories and imaginings.
FÀILTE and PARTY GIRLS draw on her memories of family and of loss as well as on her family history of migration from Ireland as she contrives acts of arrival, greeting, welcome and temporary settlement. The works reach into the embodied memories of the Irish diaspora and ponder the impulse for identification of place as home.
Clare has an enduring studio based drawing practice and started making artists' books such as LAUNCH and WINGZING during the Covid-19 lockdown as she worked at home. She made private performances BUBBLY and ARENA to camera in nature and the domestic space. These works come from a developing reflective practice that leads to felt sense images that are vibrant, energetic and spontaneous.
Clare curates the work of other artists through COUCOU www.coucoucuration.com She supports women artists over fifty to share their work and to collaborate. She runs flexible DWELL residencies for older women at the studio or in their own studio space or home. She is lead artist with Peta Lloyd of the BIDDY project showcasing the work of older women artists. With Peta she is curating the BIDDY performance art programme for FaB www.fringeartsbath.co.uk/biddy
Clare studied for a BA(Hons) in Fine Art at Norwich School of Art and has an MA from The Royal College of Art London. She was born in London and works from her studio in the Vale of White Horse near to Oxford.