Claire is one of twins born in London in December 1971. She grew up on the west coast of Scotland and in rural Somerset where she attended Wells Cathedral School. On leaving she studied for a BA in Fine Art and history of Art at Magdalen College, Oxford before returning to her birthplace to study printmaking at Camberwell College of Art where she gained a Masters Degree.
From her earliest recollections there was never a time when Claire considered being anything other than an artist. House bound at the age of three with chicken pox Claire emerged as an artist when she drew a self-portrait complete with intricate eyelashes and facial lines-observation far beyond her years.
To describe Claire’s style of work is as difficult as trying to define the ocean. Her art has a spontaneity that comes straight from the heart and yet is equally concerned with the minutiae of intricate detail. Claire has an unmistakable style and visual language that is completely her own.
Observations of the endless creativity and form of the natural world are a great source of inspiration. Fascinated close scrutiny of a spider’s web, the structure of gills on a mushroom, the reflective quality of fish scales and butterfly wings, a drifting birds feather or a piece of lichen- fallen from a tree – all have played their part in her work. Everyday situations are transformed. Awareness of singular recurring patterns in the micro and macro-cosmos and sequencing such as the Fibonacci and binary codes inevitably exist subconsciously and consciously in the work; her 2012 drawings contain an underlying ‘matrix’ to balance the complexity and chaos of the meticulously drawn forms.
Encounters with the wilderness of vast open spaces inspire her work – favourite places are Norway, Oregon and Namibia where geographical grandeur vies with bold colours to produce stunning scenarios.
Drawing, particularly from life, plays a big part in her work. Claire makes her own bamboo pens for her single line drawings, and strives to draw every day. Claire is also an accomplished printmaker having evolved her own particular maverick techniques.
Each series of works is born initially through experimentation with materials and form. Claire works intuitively starting many different pieces at the same time so that a natural but diverse visual thread connects everything. Also deriving ceaseless ideas from investigating each avenue. She always comes back to each with renewed vigour and ideas of how to push and progress each one forward.
Lacking energy after the birth of her baby she began creating delicate thread & wire stitched figures which eventually found their way into large-scale wall pieces. She has learned how to crochet wire, developing a peculiar left-handed technique to intricately link together strands of metal thread (bronze, stainless steel, copper, nickel silver, gold, titanium), embroidery threads and wire-threaded objects. Her sculptures encompass a wealth of found objects: feathers, glass fragments, semi-precious stones, thread, remnants of antique fabrics, lace and amber. She also delights in using mundane materials such as, for example, a piece of fishing line, and exploring the intrinsic beauty of it when interwoven with colours and textures.
Pieces are often modular and reversible, adding a great versatility to the display possibilities of the work giving each curator and exhibition space creative input of its own. She holds the firm belief that the best work is born through spontaneous collaboration.
And, despite being a twin (or maybe because of it) she is never happier than when working on her own in the stillness and quiet of her studio.
Claire’s work can be found in various collections. She lives in Oregon with her husband ( also an artist- Matthew Picton ) and son, Maurice.