About Claire Wallwork
A few years ago, inspired by the simplicity and beauty of Georgia O’Keefe’s works, the quintessentially New Zealand perspective of Colin McCahon’s simple abstract landscapes, and the structural emphasis of Karl Blossfeldt’s photos of nature under the microscope, Claire Wallwork put paint to canvas for the first time in her life. She discovered so much more than she bargained for. After a lifetime of soul-searching and healing, she discovered a means to speak to her unconscious mind while having fun doing it. As she poured her heart onto the canvas she found she was able to work through issues that troubled or confused her from a more expanded bigger picture perspective. This enabled her to reframe the uncomfortable events occurring in the world into a thing of beauty and to share a different perspective. So her love affair with painting began.
Self-taught and in her 50’s, Claire has much to say and painting connects her to those thoughts and feelings that otherwise float beneath the surface. “When I paint I experience life beyond my ego self to a much more aware, loving and inclusive way of being and viewing the world. It’s this duality between ego and soul/higher-self that fuels my work. The both/and, higher/lower perspectives contrasting yet existing simultaneously”.
Growing up in New Zealand and Australia, Claire has always been moved by the amazing land and seascapes around her and they remain central to her work as she explores life and its complexities. Fascinated by the power of art to influence the observer’s perspective she strives to visually and energetically leave a positive imprint and open hearts to an alternative view. Meditation has also been a huge part of Claire’s life and the insights she feels when in deep contemplation contain the same reverence as she experiences whilst creating her works. Each arises from the same
space and holds the same potential for positive change. Presence, responsibility, empathy and inclusiveness reveal themselves in the negative space, the natural palettes, or even the role of the observer and how they become part of the picture.
Nature doesn’t strive to be beautiful yet it is, by its very being-ness, exquisite. With a trust in the essential goodness of humanity- at least at its core, nature provides an ideal metaphor for that human potential. Furthermore, despite its delicate fragility, the environment is simultaneously strong and resilient, however its demise or survival depend on the choices we make. We are each connected - to one another and to the world around us - and every action has an impact on everyone and everything else. When we accept this, the power for meaningful transformation emerges as we take responsibility and begin to heal unconscious wounds. Eventually the illusion of separation will be shattered and harmony can be restored as we reconnect to our essential whole self.
In a sense then, Claire strives to decode the beliefs and fears that limit and pigeonhole our perspective by deconstructing forms of nature. The re-imagination involves layering of paints, charcoals, glosses and a variety of other mediums utilizing what has gone before whilst high-lighting this innate potential to step up and consciously cultivate personal, institutional and global change, thereby reframing even the most ugly experiences into something beautiful.