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ABOUT

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CLAIRE ONGLEY


1991            Born in Kent
2009            University for the Creative Arts

2010-13    Leeds Metropolitan University

2015            The London Art Academy, London.



Represented by Trowbridge Gallery since 2013.


Live and work in London



FINE ART


My focus involves juxtaposing the unpredictable use of paint against the ‘rehearsed mark’. Playing with compositional ideas, which are anti gravitational or that have a sense of displacement. Previously, I used collage as a formal framework to compositional ideas. Now, spontaneous, yet considered compositions are fabricated from imagination. Masked areas allow this spontaneity within that space, and once the masking is removed the viewer is denied from total chaos and brought back to the thought-out composition.


The significant difference in scale of brushstrokes establish breaks from the rest of the painting. The motifs that are strategically placed become devices to create a tension. The flowers, birds and insects are organic, colourful forms, which in paint create intimate painterly encounters. They also have a particular place in the history of painting and as traditional subjects, but become 'awkward' because of how they are composed. The pace of the paintings are dictated through the gestural marks spread over a large surface and are intended to generate an energy. Some marks appear accidental, but others are highly controlled, sometimes rehearsed, time and time again on paper prior to being placed on the canvas.


Traditionally, gold has been used in painting symbolically and narratively. I use it as a mechanism. The floating singular geometric shapes that can sometimes appear provoke exploration but in a controlled order. It isn’t a statement of value; it is the reflective surface’s disruption of the painted surface that is exploited.


Illusion is evident throughout the body of works and pictorial spaces are constructed by layering and by shifting perspectives, inspired by Baroque techniques of painting. By using a luminescent initial layer, the classical technique, imprimatura, is adapted. Glazes are applied untraditionally but still with the same function, which is to amplify light and establish drama and theatricality.


In the 1980’s, postmodernism collided a diverse mix of influences in an exciting way. I am using similar points of reference (the Baroque, figuration, abstraction, monochrome) but to cross-refer and compose a deliberate and symbiotic awkwardness that, for me, reflects what it is to paint and to look at paintings in the 21st century.