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CLAIRE GILLIAM

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Claire Gilliam, an English artist renowned for her versatility in photography, printmaking, and painting, creates art that resonates with depth and expression. Educated at Sheffield Hallam University and Rockport College, and enriched by studies under prominent artists and photographers, Gilliam's work has gained international acclaim. Her exhibitions, including the notable "Embody: The Gender Issue" and her solo show "Life Lines," showcase her unique ability to weave complex themes into her art, making her a significant voice in contemporary visual arts.

BIOGRAPHY

BIOGRAPHY

Claire Gilliam, an English artist now residing in Warwick, NY, is distinguished by her multifaceted approach to art, encompassing photography, printmaking, and painting. Her artistic journey is underpinned by a robust academic foundation, having earned a BA (Hons) in Fine Art from Sheffield Hallam University in the UK in 1997 and a Professional Certificate in Photography from Rockport College, Maine, in 2000.

Gilliam's skill set is further enriched by her experiences studying under esteemed photographers Arno Minkkinen and John Goodman, as well as master gelatin silver printer Chuck Kelton and master printmaker Vijay Kumar. Her proficiency in various mediums is not just a testament to her artistic versatility but also to her dedication to continually evolving her craft. In addition to her own creative pursuits, she has worked as an assistant for Barbara Mensch, a well-respected author and fine art photographer.

Her works, known for their depth and expressive nature, have been showcased in numerous exhibitions across Europe and the USA, earning places in prestigious collections such as The ICP Library Print Collection and the Goethe Institute. Gilliam's international recognition was further solidified through her participation in the "Embody: The Gender Issue" touring exhibition, which visited several cities in India and Sri Lanka in 2014 and 2015. This exhibition was a critical exploration of gender themes, showcasing her ability to delve into complex societal topics through her art.

In 2019, Gilliam presented her solo exhibition "Life Lines" at the Amity Gallery. This exhibition was a culmination of her experiences and artistic exploration, offering viewers an intimate glimpse into her creative world. Through her work, Gilliam not only captures the essence of her subjects but also invites the audience to engage in a deeper reflection on the themes she portrays. Her art stands as a poignant narrative, intertwining technique, emotion, and intellectual inquiry.

ALPHABET

During the early stages of the 2020 pandemic, as communities across the US and the world entered lockdowns, Claire Gilliam began an introspective project focused on drawing the Latin alphabet. This endeavor, initially an exercise in mark-making, soon unfolded into a more profound artistic exploration. While her work has consistently included references to her physical body, this project introduced a new challenge for Gilliam. She experimented with writing using both her dominant left hand and her less dexterous right hand. This approach was not only a test of skill but also an exploration of how a loss of control could transform and unexpectedly alter both the visual field and her own visual language.

As the year of social isolation progressed, marked by constant news reports that highlighted the growing divide between fact and fiction, Gilliam found herself contemplating the nature and evolution of communication and language. The act of repeatedly drawing letters forwards and backwards became a metaphor for the evolution of the world's alphabets through civilizations. Each of her drawings evolved into a distinct conversation, imbued with its own unique resonance.

Gilliam came to view each letter or character in any alphabet as a vessel of endless possibilities - embodying a past, a potential future, compassion, connection, alienation, and the possibility of misunderstanding. This perspective aligns with the thoughts of Victor Hugo, who once said, “Human society, the world, and the whole of mankind is to be found in the alphabet”. Through this project, Gilliam explores these themes, creating a bridge between the abstract and the personal, between history and the present moment.

 More ALPHABET works