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 works from her studio close to Oxford.
Contact Clare to request her CV.
Clare Carswell MA (RCA), is a British artist working with performance, drawing and installation to make works for the gallery or the public space. Exhibiting for platform events and in museums and galleries in the UK and internationally, she has also performed in a chateau, a cathedral, in a bathroom, at a birthday party and in the street. She is always pleased to work with curators but also enjoys working in an unmediated way to take her work to new and non-art audiences.
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 and feminist strategies, they use object, gesture and the drawn mark to make works that are interactive, often provocative, and that seek 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. She uses 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 female 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.
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 also 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