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Clare Woods Q&A

#ClareWoods

26 June 2017

We caught up with Clare Woods, artist of the new exhibition in our galleries Victim of Geography to find out more about the exhibition and her methods of working. Victim of Geography is an exhibition of new paintings by Woods, and is on show until Sun 10 September.

Hi Clare! Thanks for chatting to us, can you tell us a little bit about moving from your initial focus of sculpture to painting?

I studied sculpture from 1991-94 and started painting as soon as I left college, so it was a long time ago I made the move to painting. However I feel the way I look at objects helps hold a tension in the work between the way the work is painted and the images it depicts.

All of the paintings in Victim of Geography are of human figures, in what way does this collection of paintings differ from paintings you’ve previously created? 

I worked for a long time using landscape images that I took myself as my source, but in 2011 I started to use found imagery and slowly this imagery has become more and more figurative or uses the human figure as the staring point for the paintings. Most of the images I am painting I have had for a very long time, but I just did not know how to paint them. The progression through each painting is a slow and long journey to developing the works through making.

The source images used to create the paintings in this exhibition are often of figures in vulnerable situations, or impending danger. What inspired you to choose these images and what do you hope they may communicate to visitors to the exhibition?

Not all of the images fall into this categorisation, some of them are quite neutral - the blanket on the chair for example - but something about them gives me a way in to be able to paint them in a way that they all have a relationship to me and to each other and form a body of work.

"Something about them gives me a way in to be able to paint them in a way that they all have a relationship to me and to each other."

Can you tell us a bit about your painting technique and how you achieve the textures, shapes and colours shown in the paintings in Victim of Geography?

My painting process is quite broken down. I firstly work with the photographic image, then a drawing taken from the photo, then finally a painting. When I paint I work horizontally then stand the painting up when it is finished. I find this way of painting gives me much more control over the movement of the paint and the mixing of the wet colours on the panel surface.

"This way of painting gives me much more control over the movement of the paint and the mixing of the wet colours on the panel surface."

Tell us a bit about the edition that you’ve created in DCA Print Studio and the process you used to create it.

I have been working on a stone lithograph, this is my preferred method of printing. I like the way I can work flat on the stone and it's the closest form of printing to paintings, with the weight of the brush or crayon on the stone having a direct translation into the tone of the print. I have based the print on an image of a very young hooded Captain Scott, titled The Optimist.

Thanks Clare! Victim of Geography is on show until Sun 10 September and we've programmed a series of events to run alongside it - have a look and see what we've got planned hereGalleries are open daily from 10:00 - 18:00 (until 20:00 on a Thu). We offer twice-daily Exhibition Tours at 11:00 and 14:00 if you'd like an introduction from one of our friendly Visitor Assistants.

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