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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.

Clare uses strategies of play, comedy and improvisation, song and spoken word in vibrant 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.

Recent works TA-TA 2024, WONKY_NEE 2023, LOLL 2022, SMILE KEEP SMILING & SUGAR SUGAR 2018, hover between ward round and slapstick, invoking the trials and the comedy of inhabiting an ageing body, the need to maintain and test endurance and strength, and the continuing ability to connect with others through acts of imagination. 

FÀILTE 2017 and PARTY GIRLS 2017, draw on memories of family, of loss and on her family history of migration from Ireland through contrived 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. 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. 

Clare also works with artist Peta Lloyd as GIDDY STICKS a dynamic and anarchic performance duo. The performances OLD GOBS and CELERY were performed in Oxford and Frome Somerset in 2023. 

Clare curates the work of other artists through the project COUCOU, working since 2010 with arts partners in Oxford to curate exhibitions, platform performance art events, artist residencies & youth arts projects.


COU COU supports women artists over fifty to be productive, to collaborate and to share their work through the events and networking of the BIDDY project.

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 currently works from her studio in the Vale of White Horse near to Oxford making drawings, prints and handmade books and teaching small classes.

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