Derek’s Room

26 Nov 2019

I have two pieces in Derek’s room in the Jarman Building, Studio3 Gallery, University of Kent. This is Studio3’s first juried open submission exhibition and includes a rich variety of work, all made within Kent: photography, painting, sculpture, ceramics, video and textiles.

Derek’s Room will be open from Wednesday 4 December until Saturday 7 December, 10am – 5pm. 

Curated by Dr Eleen M Deprez, Callum Foad, Yannis Grimm, Emily Harman, Alice Richardson, Debbie Patterson, and Kostas Xanthopoulos.

With the kind support of creative campus and the School of Arts, University of Kent.

Beachtime Stories exhibition at The Margate School

1 Nov 2019

I am delighted to have been invited to show my 100 Beachtime stories drawings at the Margate School from 2 November – 1 December.

Beachtime stories: An exhibition of intimate 100 ink drawings of beach-inspired scenes by Clare Smith in the Line Gallery. Most of these seaside scenes are in Kent. The drawings are based on the artist’s huge library of photographs which she realised were asking to be used as a resource.

“Like many children, I spent happy times on the beach and remember the Lone Pine Hotel in Penang. In my mind, the sand there is spotless and the sea is the most wonderful blue. The adults sit and chat and the children play. Years later, the sand is not at all spotless, the sea is brown, churned up and full of sea snakes. Swimming has to be done in the hotel pool reserved for guests with rooms.

Living now in Dover, near to the sea after many years away from it, seems no accident. The sea is potentially an all too familiar subject matter, but the very vastness of the oceans and the sea allows for a never-ending fascination, renewed interpretations and personal responses. Human beings have lived by the sea, on the shore for thousands of years. According to John R. Gillis, the “shore was the first home of humankind’ and shores (natural environment) have now in many instances been transformed into coasts (man-made environment).

For Gillis, “the beach was the last part of the shore to be discovered and settled.” They are places from which we look out to sea; the beach is an edge, the land is behind us, it is an ever-moving, ever-changing boundary separated from the land “over there” by the sea, which without a boat, is a hard-to-cross border. With a boat, the sea suddenly becomes a connector between two shores; it becomes possible to go ‘over there.’” (Clare Smith)

The coast is not just a shifting ribbon separating land from water. It is a place of opposites, of conflicting ideas and feelings. These paintings, done over a period of a hundred days, of different locations, inevitably reflect the fast-changing moods of our coastline. They bring us sun-kissed promenades and beaches filled with tourists and sea-bathers, but also recall stretches of wind-packed sand and empty shore-front car parks lashed by rain. There is a romantic nostalgia for childhood holidays in the images of families playing on the beach and dogs splashing through the waves. But behind all that, peering at us from the beautifully pooling washes of dark ink, is something more oppressive. The bleak shorelines depicted in some of the pictures evoke our fear of the open sea. There are hints, perhaps, of the dangers that await us when the weather and tides are against us, whispers of the industry and ports that once dotted our frontier with the sea, and shadows too perhaps of the threat from rising sea levels. (David Frankel)

The work will be shown alongside Anthony Heywood’s When the Wind Blows.

Watercress and Daffodils: the book

25 Oct 2019

My book, Watercress and Daffodils, to accompany the video of the same name is out! It includes essays by Karen Jones (University of Kent), Charles Holland (Charles Holland Architects), Philip Hutton (Architect) Richard Taylor (artist), Louisa Love (artist) and haikus by Ben Hunt.

From the introduction:

In setting out to make Watercress and Daffodils, my aim was to bring together, into the filmic space, the now separate private and public gardens that once made up Kearsney Court Gardens, designed by Thomas Mawson (1861-1933), the first English garden designer to call himself a landscape architect. The private gardens now comprise Kearsney Court Gardens, attached to the set of 7 houses comprising Kearsney Court, and the former kitchen garden. The public gardens are known as Russell Gardens and are a very rare example of Mawson’s work, open to the public in the south east.

Little did I know that through the process of interviewing and talking to the protagonists that there would also be a personal story of closure – unearthing and revelation – that reflected the laying bare of the garden as it was about to undergo a process of restoration.

Please contact me if you would like a copy.

Feedback on the book:

  • Very happy to have contributed to Watercress and Daffodils, a lovely study of Kearsney Park in Dover by my friend and occasional colleague Clare Smith of @DoverArts (Charles Holland)
  • very happy to have contributed a short reflective essay ‘It Grows With Me: On Porous Borders’ to @clare_smith ‘s new book ‘Watercress & Daffodils’, published to accompany her beautiful film of the same name. A lovely, ruminative book with photography & haiku by @benjamin.a.hunt and excellent texts also from @charlesjholland@richard_taylor_artist_writer Karen R Jones, Philip Hutton, and of course dear Clare herself

SALT 2019

27 Aug 2019

Since 2015 I have been making collaborative artworks for SALT festival including three commissioned films shot on location in Dover, Folkestone and Samphire Hoe with Joanna Jones and Helen Lindon. We have set up a new website, designed by Helen with a lovely contribution about collaboration by Joanna:

The three artists have in common a practice with paint and ink that enables the medium to find its voice.  What has brought them together is a shared interest in experimental processes to make synergic, truly collaborative work where each artist takes equal responsibility and results in work that could only have been achieved with the input of all three. 

There is a chance to see all three films, including the premiere of Moon Talk, followed by a discussion with the artists on Saturday 21 September, 2pm. Quarterhouse, Tickets £3

Six eyes see more than two – add to this cameras, mobile phones, recorders and these collaborators add up to more than the sum of their parts.

“A wonderful celebration of creativity, sisterhood, the power of the sea and nature” Audience feedback 2018

Monoprinting

12 Jul 2019

I’ve recently started to push my printmaking skills and have been working at DBA Editions in Ramsgate with Fiona de Bulat.

Getting ready for White Noise Past Present Tense exhibition

1 Jul 2019

Not till September but I have been working on and off for an exhibition with White Noise projects at The Crypt Gallery in September. I find set themes really hard to respond to so was glad they helpfully suggested in the brief that one could also repurpose older work…..so here is what I’ve been up to so far:

 

 

See the real work in September!!

PAST AND PRESENT TENSE

September 10, 2019-12:00 pm – September 15, 2019-6:00 pm

Past and Present Tense
10-15 September 2019

Open:
Tuesday – Sunday 12-6pm

Private View:
Wednesday 11 September 2019  6.00 -9.00 pm

Small Print Show at The Horsebridge Arts Centre

7 Jun 2019

I have two pieces in Small Print  at the Horsebridge Arts Centre in Whitstable, now open in Gallery 2.

Artists were invited to submit work with only 2 criteria: It must be small (under 30cm) and created with a hand printed technique.
Many of the featured artists have also provided editions of prints and greetings cards, so if you love print as much as we do it’s an exhibition not to be missed.

Small Print is open every day until 17 June.