Preserving the ephemeral.

Mark making has always been my most direct method to express myself and communicate with my body and surroundings. This, together with an exploration of process, sits at the heart of my practice. From this base I work outward exploring concepts of space, landscape, and phenomenology. Using chiefly ink and graphite, my practice can be seen as a mapping of my experience from inside my body.  Limiting my palate to blacks and greys allows complete focus on the texture, tone and spacial qualities of my experience. Each work is a window into a monochrome paracosm, a single colour world of ink runs, explosions, and grotesque forms meticulously coerced from graphite. 

I am interested in Eastern philosophies around the state of being as an unfixed in nature, everything shifting between dual points.  With this in mind my practice is dotted with dualities: micro/macro, dark/light, chance/Intention, real/fantasy, internal/external. 

Employing the language of landscape, I set out to make sense of the internal and external spaces of and surrounding my body, expressing it within a constructed terrain.  The most palpable of these spaces are the solid surfaces of the spaces I live in. The more obscure and ethereal are the shifts in form and space I can perceive and feel with my senses, but that don’t exist within our shared reality. Such shifts occur in times of stress or extreme emotion, creating a disconnect between body and mind, and a curious distorted personal reality.

Handwritten text within and alongside the work helps to establish a connection between my internal experience as I create the work, and the viewers experience as they look at it. This helps facilitate a transference of consciousness and empathy, as viewer and artist pass back and forth across the veil between paracosm and reality.


©2019 Claire Barrett.