Exhibiting with the Royal Society of Portrait Painters has proved to be a great catalyst for Claire’s career as a portrait artist.
With our call for entries about to open (4th November) Claire’s story is particularly relevant to those who might be thinking of exhibiting with us.
In 2015 Claire competed with hundreds of artists in the open section of our annual exhibition. She was successful and exhibited the portrait ‘Veil’ which won the Arts Club Charitable Trust Award (now Contemporary Art Trust Award).
“Exhibiting in this setting and the exposure that came with winning the award has really transformed my practice, for while I had an interest in portraiture prior to my exhibiting with the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, it is now the primary focus of my work. In particular, I have since received a number of private commissions to create portraits.”
Claire went on to have one of her commissions published in a book about philosophers, Conversations on Art and Aesthetics by Dr Hans Maes. In 2016 her work was shown at the Columbia Threadneedle Art Prize: Figurative Art Today show at Mall Galleries which then traveled to the Palazzo Strozzi in Florence.
This was followed by a series of portraits to highlight and raise awareness of aspects of individuals that may otherwise be difficult to see. These were created for a show at Mall Galleries Learning Centre where they hung alongside the work of artist /photographer Milly Banks to form the ‘Visibly Abled, Invisibly Disabled’ exhibition.
- Claire Anscomb ‘Noel’
Between 2016-19 Clare undertook a PhD in History and Philosophy of Art and, as this came to an end, applied to be part of the Mall Galleries’ ‘In The Studio’ project and succeeded.
For this project, Mall Galleries brought together 22 creative young people between the ages of 18 to 26 in order to collectively explore both tangible and intangible artistic spaces and piece together their own narrative of ‘studio life’. After almost a year of shared exploration, discussion and creation, a group exhibition of the ‘In the Studio’ artists was held at Mall Galleries earlier this month.
Even though the idea of the ‘artist’s studio’ was the starting point for ‘In the Studio’, in the process, the project became more of a collaborative investigation of the different approaches to being an artist today, with friendships forming, and creative exchanges happening. In the Studio has included studio visits to individual artists, collectives, art schools, as well as talks, behind the scenes tours during hanging days of our exhibitions, drawing in urban spaces, mentoring with Mall Galleries’ artists and team members.
In the end, ‘In the Studio’ turned out to be more about the people and the sharing of ideas rather than the spaces themselves.
Claire felt that she gained ‘a rich insight into the working lives, creative spaces, and practices of artists. This enabled me to create a series of pieces, that included portraits of the artists in their studios, portraits that the artists have made, and portraits of the artists as part of their work.’
Claire is now working on a new series of portraits of philosophers depicting them in a manner that reflects their theories, a topic that reflects her doctoral work.