Clare Twomey | Artist | Co. Meath, Ireland
Being afraid of the dark is a fear most young people inherit through scary stories told by their siblings. The darkness during the night can represent many feelings within ourselves and often awaken our eyes to the mysteries of the night. Clare Twomey (43) an artist from Co. Meath (originally Dublin) captures the darkness within her work in a very peculiar way.
The artist captures the various different colours within the darkness of the setting using tones of blacks and greys with (at times) thin white etchings of withered branches and derelict human-made structures giving the viewer a direct sense of the time the original photograph was taken. Additionally, you can physically feel the cold within Clare’s work as she captures the atmosphere within each piece. The lonely country roads framed by a thin fence leading towards a warm home captures the true rural sense of Ireland. The emptiness in the frame of her work compliments the subtle storytelling of the scene that Clare captured, the artist makes this seem like an effortless addition to the work she creates.
Despite what the darkness can represent, especially in this medium. Clare Twomey’s interpretation of the night in her work does not reflect the cliché of an artist being lost within the blacks and greys of an evening setting. Clare is not lost in the darkness, if anything she is the beacon guiding us through it. Yes, her nighttime settings are dark and mysterious yet they have an air of tranquilitiy and quietness surrounding them. It’s peaceful viewing her work and begs the question as to what is just out of our viewing distance.
Clare Twomey leaves her work open to interpretation. She actively encourages the viewer to find their own symbols and stories and unfold the mysteries on display within her work. After viewing Clare’s exhibition “Boundaries” I chose not to leave the artist behind the canvas a mystery so we reached out to Clare for an interview to discover the background, the influence and her unique artistic approach! You can read her exclusive interview and view her gallery below!
“My name is Clare, I am 43 years old and currently living in Co. Meath, originally from Dublin. In my spare time I love to go for long walks, kayaking, working out and practicing pilates. I’ve studied at the Dublin Institute of Technology and Visual Communication in Cholaiste Dhulaigh. I have recently completed a certicate course at NCAD. To relax and chill I like to listen to Joni Mitchel and David Bowie. While I work, I like to have classical piano playing in the background. I love to catch a live gig at Whelans and my go to pint would have to be a Guinness.”
The artist behind the art.
What does being an artist mean to you?
For me, being an artist means having the ability to express myself through various mediums, which is such an important outlet for me. By using and exploring different media I can get a handle on the world around me. Art has always been a way for me to process my day to day experiences. It is also a very meditative form of relaxing, where I find myself focusing on the here and now and living in the moment.
What events led to becoming an artist?
I’ve always been interested in the art scene. Ever since I was little, I was encouraged and inspired by my family to explore my creativity. This gave me the faith I needed to continue studying and working in the field. For the past 8 years, I’ve run art classes and camps for children in my local community centre. Teaching children has increased my passion for exploring my own creativity, as they create without boundaries or preconceptions, something I try to incorporate into my work. I recently completed a certificate course in Drawing and Visual Investigation (DVI) at NCAD. Exhibiting my work has given me the confidence to build upon what I have learned and observed over the past few years.
Where do you find inspiration?
I derive inspiration in many places and many ways. My immediate surroundings when on long walks, with my family around me, art festivals such as the Dublin Fringe festival, walking through art galleries and the NCAD library, all of which get my creative juices flowing. My latest project, “Boundaries” was inspired by my surroundings here in Co. Meath. In particular, regular trips exploring the Hill of Tara with my family. Immersing myself in the spiritual and ancient history of the Hill of Tara allowed me to perceive different types of boundaries in the landscape. This led me to explore the physical, emotional and mental boundaries that present themselves all around us.
Describe your artistic style.
I am still in the process of developing my artistic style. Currently, I use several processes to create my work. I draw on top of images; photo transfer using my photographs and acetone, including photo transfer medium and scotch tape. I also like to experiment with lino print, Indian Ink, charcoal, pen, pencil, Conte a Paris, tracing paper and carbon paper. I like to create an atmosphere in my work. I have also been working on night scenes using black paper and silver pen. I enjoy using a variety of materials and media throughout my projects and have been pleased with the results .
Who / what influences you?
Artists such as William Kentridge, Gary Hume, Hoki, Vera Klute, Julie Mehretu, Won Ju Lim and Art Now, have proven to be very stimulating. In particular, I really love the work of visual artist Alice Maher and how she focuses on the process rather than the finished piece. This quote from her comes to mind when I am working “ the very best part of doing a project is not when you are finished nor when you just start but right in the middle like the centre around which a knot is tied.
What do you aim for your audience to feel when viewing your work?
My ultimate aim would be for someone to start their own journey of exploration around a piece of my work. That their perception of my work has been challenged and a new point of view has been gained. I would like them to recognise what they, as a spectator bring to the piece of artwork, and that it is not just my interpretation that matters. I like to leave the description of my art very vague and open to interpretation so that the viewer is free to draw their own conclusions.
Plans for the future?
I’m very lucky to have been accepted into the Higher Diploma course in Art in NCAD, which will then lead to a degree in Fine Art. I am very excited to continue my studies at NCAD, as I am surrounded by wonderfully creative people, both teachers and students, who encourage and inspire each other. I feel like I’m just beginning my journey of exploration, and finding my style. Returning to college has increased my confidence, allowing me to express myself and be brave enough to put myself out there through my art.
Special thank you from Void Magazine for the interview with Clare Twomey, understanding your work and the story behind it has been a pleasure.