Meet the Connect10 artist: Claire Barclay

| 09 January 2012
a photo of Claire Barclay with a shadow cast against a wall behind her
© Courtesy Claire Barclay
Introducing the Connect10 Artists taking part in the exciting new competition for Museums at Night 2012...

Claire Barclay is one of the exciting new generation of Scottish artists who came out of the Glasgow School of Art in the 1990s. She produces beautiful sculptural installations with a balance of elements contrasting function and dysfunction, chaos and order.

One of her key influences is an ongoing fascination with historical and anthropological artefacts.

A few months ago, a visit to the National Museum in Copenhagen led to an encounter with two thumbed mitts, sealskin thongs, a lacquered stand for scenting a kimono, scissors made from bone, woven cane leg coverings for a child and unusual spurs for horse riding. 

“I am drawn to the more ambiguous museum objects,” she says. “They spark a curiosity as to their uses and meanings.”

She is also interested in information and ideas that relate to the psychological connections between people and objects, or between form, material and meaning.

Barclay cites Daniel Miller's book The Comfort of Things – “an interesting study of people's personalities through the objects that surround their lives” – as an inspiration.

She is also drawn to “artwork which strongly references the body without representing it conventionally”.  Rebecca Horn's body attachments, such as Head Extension or Finger Gloves, are one example, as are Yvonne Rainer's Hand Movie, Gabriel Orozco's small clay sculptures Tri and Double Tail, Ruth Vollmer's bronze sculpture, Oscule, and Franz West's Adaptives. 

Visit Claire Barclay's website

Read about Claire Barclay on the Tate website

to the Connect10 artist index page

Some artwork:

a gallery shot of a sculptural installation with doors and door frames and other objects and materials
Shadow Spans, Whitechapel (2010)© Courtesy the artist and Stephen Friedman Gallery, London. Photography courtesy of Stephen White
a photo of a sculptural installation with aluminum rod, machined aluminum, leather and stained wood
Flat Peach I© courtesy the artist and Stephen Friedman Gallery, London Photography courtesy of Stephen White
a photo of an abstract sculpture made of machined metal and sheeting
Soft Group© courtesy the artist and Stephen Friedman Gallery, London Photography courtesy of Stephen White
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