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.
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.
In 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 transforming physical or emotional sites of pain into joy.
Recent works find Clare making artists' books such as LAUNCH and WINGZING during the Covid-19 lockdown as she works at home making private performances to camera in nature and the domestic space. These works come from a more reflective and meditative practice that leads to felt sense images that are vibrant, energetic and spontaneous and that celebrate the creative impulse as life force.
Clare curates the work of other artists through COUCOU www.coucoucuration.com
She runs the residency programme, ART PITCH, inviting applications from UK and international artists for short self directed residencies and research time in the Cotswolds countryside www.artpitch.org She also invites women artists over fifty to do flexible DWELL residencies at the studio or in their own space. Artists Rhiannon Evans and Peta Lloyd are the first two DWELL artists
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 close to Oxford.