An obsession with water and a love of colour impact on the paintings and sculptures of Claire Luxton. There’s a fantastical quality to her work – a sense of the unreal and, at times, hyperreal. Fairytales and myths live among her brushstrokes, suggesting a creativity that owes more than a little to a beguiling childhood.
“Growing up I was always very creative and was brought up in an imaginative household,” she says, “I was also lucky enough to have some super inspirational art teachers throughout my education too.”
Her major influences, she says, were the artists of JMW Turner and Antony Gormley.
“Antony Gormley’s work never fails to impress me,” she comments. “To me his pieces are always ambitious and command a certain attention. I love the skill and craftsmanship involved in his work and his choice of strong, rustic, beautiful materials. And I always find Turner’s work to be dramatic and beautiful, yet often with an undertone of pain or sadness. I’m drawn to his interests in the sea, industry and the way he romanticises the ocean and sailing at such a poignant period in history.”
The ocean has played a vital role in many of Claire’s own creations, often paired with unexpectedly jewel-like colours. To me, her use of these vivid shades make them seem like a wild element in their own right – one she’s attempting (successfully) to harness the power of.
“Colour has always been an integral part of my practise and is deeply entwined with the way in which I physically interact with the creation of my work,” Clare explains. “I often use myself within my work, so it can feel like a tiny piece of myself on show.”
Claire moves between different mediums with ease, employing the techniques of painting, photography or sculpture/installation depending on the vivacity her work requires. “I find each discipline allows me to explore my practise in a different yet complementary way,” she says. “My paintings often have a symbiotic relationship with my sculptural pieces, one informing the other – drawing form the texture, aesthetic energy and strength of that material.”
She adds: “I’m captivated by the way in which steel and other metals evolve differently over time and I like to investigate and navigate these effects and physical qualities through my paintings. Much like the way I interact with my sculptures and photography, painting involves me being very physical, translating this relationship and energy onto the canvas or surfaces that I work on.”
Other than physicality and colour, myths and legend play an important exploratory role within Claire’s work. “My third year dissertation centred on the relationship between the sea and mythology, and that research really nurtured my love for both topics,” she says. “Historical and cultural stimulate me to explore the void between mythology and reality, and also allow me contemplate notions of the romantic and the sublime.”
Claire admits to relishing the opportunity to access her studio at all hours. “I often love working into the night or early in the morning – I really love my freedom and flexibility as an artist. I love being able to work whenever I have an idea or am feeling inspired, so having a studio set up at home is perfect for me.”
Know an artist you’d like to see showcased on SkyLightRain.com? Give me a shout at judy(at)socketcreative.com.