In 2010, I went back to drawing after many years of sculptural inquiry. Drawing
was my primary medium in the Ruskin School of Fine Art and Drawing, Magdalen
College, Oxford University, in the U.K. Starting with observational sketches that
evolved into larger scale works, I select the natural world as my subject as I live
surrounded by nature in Southern Oregon. Observed at close range it contains
many strange, fascinating, and abstract forms.
My works aim to draw attention to the mysteries of the physical world. Wishing
to convey my understanding of the underlying balance and cycles of undisturbed
natural ecosystems, I have employed the pictorial device of interlocking circles
drawn beneath the forms. This conveys a sense of cohesion, and alludes to the
invisible intelligent matrix that enables the seeming chaos of nature to be held in
perfect balance; birth, death and rebirth all occurring at the same time. This also
imparts a formal quality to the drawings.
The marks are made up primarily of lines and pointillism; this seems fitting as our
physical world is made up of waves and particles, whether animate or inanimate.
Each drawing is a natural evolution from the last. I work for about a year, immersed
in a particular subject, watching it evolve through the seasons. Although I learn a lot
about the subjects of my drawings, the facts are not a dominant feature. These are
not strictly botanical illustrations. Through the handling and observing of the forms,
information reveals itself to me in wordless fashion.
My studio is now home to many dried fungi, lichens, dead insects, and bits of trees.
These all fascinate me as they continue to change through the process of decay. I am
particularly interested in small forms, like mushrooms, because they exemplify the
multiplicity and complexity of nature, hidden, as they are, beneath the earth for most
of the year. I strive to depict a vibrant universe, one that speaks of forms decaying,
from which new organisms emerge. See more at claireburbridgeart.com
From Claire Burbridge‘s earliest memory, being anything other than an artist was never a consideration. One of twins born to seventies’ London—then raised between Scotland’s rugged west coast and the rolling hills of rural Somerset—Claire’s perspective, her flair, reflects her absorption and understanding of both the urban and the rustic environment.
Encounters with the wilderness—of vast open spaces—inspire Claire’s art. Norway, Oregon and Namibia in particular, where geographical grandeur vies with bold colors, has imprinted on the artist’s mind indelible memories; enthralling scenarios on which Claire has based much of her body of work.