Clare Carswell MA (RCA), is a British artist working with performance, drawing and installation to make works for the gallery or the public space. She has performed in a chateau, a cathedral, in a bathroom, at a birthday party and in the street and seeks to take her work to new audiences.
Clare makes art that embraces feminist strategies and opens to reveal the binds of relationship, familial and chosen and the often hidden impulses that influence us or them. Her performance persona, MEWOMAN, 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 they use object, gesture and the drawn mark to make works that are interactive and seek to engage with audience to invoke personal or shared cultural memories and to propose new and inventive ways of sharing our stories and imaginings and of reinventing them. She works with whichever medium is going to do the job for her and often works by theme or in series to make works that migrate between the planned and the spontaneous.
In recent works such as SMILE KEEP SMILING, DESSERT and SHOW HOLES, works that exist somewhere between public health warnings and faux burlesque, Clare examines the trials, and the comedy, of maintaining an ageing body, the adaptations that need to be made in order to inhabit it and the necessity of celebrating it's power and beauty and where possible transforming physical or emotional sites of pain into joy. In the REALLY TRULY MADLY series of works Clare is exploring more light heartedly, the technological and chemical aids on offer which may mean she never needs have a bad hair day ever again, as she asks whether it matters if she does.
Clare welcomes opportunities to share her practice in development through workshops with other artists, and you can read about this in the development section on this site. She works collaboratively with other women artists to extend their joint imaginative and productive reach, most recently with Scots artist RA O'DONNELL in her exhibition SURFACE WORK in Ronda, Spain and in devising and developing the collective performance WOMAN MACHINE, a touring project she is co-curating with artist and London based Platform 1 Gallerist EMA MANO EPPS.
Clare curates the work of other artists through the COU COU curatorial project www.cou-cou.org She works with colleagues in the UK and overseas to showcase the work of emerging and mid career artists in partner venues. At COU COU open call screenings she presents visual art from around the world in partnership with other events such as music festivals or cinema and so reaches new audiences.
She runs a rural residency programme, ART PITCH, inviting applications from UK and international artists for short self directed residencies, reflective and research time in the Cotswolds countryside www.artpitch.org
In the summer of 2019 she is launching DWELL TIME, a flexible residency programme in the Cotswolds for older women artists that will craft personalised experiences that meets them within their lives and honours the many and various roles that they are fulfilling and that offers them professional development, networking and showing opportunities both in residency at the studio and wherever they need to be.
Later in 2019 she will launch ELIZABETH FIRST, a forum for women artists and students and a space for networking, learning and skill sharing. It will offer a conceptual and work space for reflecting on practice, for collaboration and experimentation. Through curated and partnered projects it will aim to increase participation and visibility for older women artists, especially for those working outside London.
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, graduating in 1988. She was born in London and now lives and works close to Oxford.
This website profiles Clare's most recent performance work over a period of two years. To view other works you can visit her archive website at www.clarecarswell.com
Contact Clare to request her CV.