Claire Shakespeare (b. 1998, Stourbridge, UK)
Claire Shakespeare (she/they) (b. 1998, Stourbridge, UK) studied Fine Art Painting BA at University of Brighton. Their practice captures the everyday experience through an investigation of improvisation and chance within painting. Altogether Shakespeare’s scenes explore agency, free association, and consciousness with the limitations of a two-dimensional surface. Shakespeare had their debut solo show Frontal Dancer at the Fitzrovia Gallery, London in 2022.
Driven by impulse and material process, this introspective work captures personal yet ambiguous engagements with the everyday. Through investigating improvisation and chance within painting, works effortlessly blend materiality, image, and the inner self to create enigmatic compositions that hold a lively balance between colour, form, and expressive linear marks. Resulting works are often suggestive and comical, acting as innuendoes to the body or natural landscape. Set vertical, works embody a personal response to the landscape, which relates to the body of the viewer.
Working in the studio, stimulation is naturally dependant on material, therefore it is essential to maintain a playful and experimental approach. Thriving off intuition, painting is guided by the act of painting itself. Intentions for paintings are undetermined but always aim to conduct enquiries into the materiality of paint. By adding, obliterating, and reassembling, imagery emerges from a history of various marks, embracing the unknowability and accidental within painting. Once found, repeated methodologies must be disrupted, usually by introducing alternative mediums such as house paint, enamel, charcoal, or paper which offer inventive and intriguing tensions within the surface. Whether that being thick areas of paint against translucent layers or an unexpected dot of blue next to a larger outline, the works achieve an exciting dynamism between opposition, simultaneously emphasising depth while reaffirming the painting's two-dimensionality.