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 2018, SUGAR SUGAR 2018, WONKY 2022 & LOLL 2022, hover between ward round and slapstick, invoking the tragedy and 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, drew on her memories of family and of loss as well as on her family history of migration from Ireland as she 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 uses song and 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.
Clare has an enduring studio based practice and as well as making drawings and prints, made artists' books such as WINGZI 2020 and LAUNCH 2021 during the Covid-19 lockdowns. She also made private performances BUBBLY 2020 and ARENA 2021 to camera in nature and in the domestic space. These works came 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 curated the first BIDDY performance art programme for FaB www.fringeartsbath.co.uk/biddy
The BIDDY BOOST research and production group for women artists over fifty launches in August 2022 in Oxford.
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.