Thursday, 13 February 2014

Claire Deniau ♥

I met Claire back in 2001. A fellow St.Martins student, she struck a chord with me from the very beginning.

Her work was implausibly well presented; it already looked  so professional and accomplished. As far as I was concerned she was already a complete artist and I remember asking myself "What is she doing here?"... The work I most clearly remember was a big painting of two marigold gloved hands holding a sort of messy creme brule´.(Claire you might want to forgive me here if my description is not accurate but after 10 years and 3 children my memory is a bit blurred!) Claire painting skills are so on the money and her idea of combining so many different textures together in one painting was nothing short of genius.

In recent years Claire has become an acclaimed artist showing her work in some of the most prestigious galleries in London, Paris and New York.

The two paintings Claire sent me for this feature (see below), are both abstracts with bold words or statements superimposed on that demand you to action or reason. Is the writing connected to the painting beneath or are they two different bodies joined together to form one? Is the writing born before the painting or does the painting determine the writing?

I don’t know, but one thing is for sure, the words certainly dictated my behaviour when in front of them. I somehow started to feel curious when looking at the “Curious” painting, as if the artist was inviting me to find some important hidden detail. 

Same with “Stay where you are”. I followed the instructions and didn’t move. I stayed and stayed and stared. I felt like the paintings had a real voice and were helping me in my journey of their discovery. 

Some of the questions her paintings ask are issues that as a viewer I often find myself debating. For example "What do you see?" openly supports the essence of abstract paintings. But for once, it's not for us to ask but rather it's the painting to proffer the question. "What do you see?"... Often abstract paintings leave me undecided and overwhelmed but with Claire's paintings I feel less intimidated. The viewer truly find themselves engaging and a conversation begins.

When I met Claire 13 years ago she had two young children. However in spite of her busy life she still managed to achieve a BA(hons)and a Masters degree in fine art. And now, with all these experiences to draw upon, she's out there working as a professional artist.

Claire is an inspiration to me and existing proof that art can carry on whilst caring for children and that perhaps "the pram in the hall" doesn't really exist...

To read and see more of Claire's practice please follow this link:

"Stay where you are"
Oil on linen, 130x162 cm, 2012 Claire Deniau ©
Oil on linen, 46x38 cm, 2012, Claire Deniau ©

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