Clare Smith’s practice involves pattern, chance and process, often using strategies such as cutting, tearing, gluing and stitching. A prevalent element of her work is the grid – its rigid structures which regulate and provide order are fitted into, broken down or rebelled against. Other elements relate to trade, materials, craft and objects. Smith works with drawing, print media, installation and painting to investigate the tensions between identities and traditions informed by her Chinese/English heritage.
“The grid relates both to the ordered grid of Chinese calligraphy and the rigid, disciplinarian family system on my mother’s side, and at the same time to the social codes of English society, including the notion of English reserve, which I had to learn.”
There is a delicacy and fragility to some of Smith’s work, which reflects a constant sense of the precariousness of physical existence.
Collaboration is part of Smith’s practice and she is also co-founder of Dover Arts Development (DAD) together with painter, Joanna Jones. This involves working with many different artists, curation, organisation, event management, creating networks across East Kent and influencing the public realm in Dover.
Clare works from a studio in Dover. She has an MA in Fine Art from Central Saint Martins and has exhibited nationally and internationally.