Clare Flatley - Ceramic/ Glass/ Sculpture
Clare Flatley is a ceramics and glass artist based in London. Originally from Lancashire she studied and worked in Edinburgh as a Sculptor before moving to London to complete her MA at the Royal College of Art in Ceramics and Glass. She creates both sculptural and functional artworks that reflect her interest in materials and in expressing states of transformation and movement.
“I am fascinated by the spiritual, psychological and mythical relationship we have with different materials, and the transformative drama that these materials undergo in the firing process.”
I am interested in creating qualities of strangeness and otherness through the expression of materials. My practice involves experimenting with metal oxides used in ceramics and glass to discover their individual qualities and 'character' through the firing process.
My practice has drawn extensively on the philosophies of the early modern Alchemists, particularly the way they developed their own personal psychology and understanding of the universe through the technical mastery of physical materials. This blurring of the distinction between spirituality and science, and between psychological and material transformation, remains the locus of my practice and a fertile source of inspiration in my craftsmanship.
During my MA at the Royal College of Art my dissertation research drew on the philosophies of the early modern alchemists. Their activities involved a processing of raw material to refine it, develop it and understand it in order to reach a state of perfection. The work and outcomes of the alchemist's activities have a great deal of integrity as the process is intertwined with their own spiritual enlightenment. This deep understanding coupled with the subjective experience of the individual is a fundamental human activity that strongly relates to the activities of an artist, particularly that of a crafts-person.
I am also strongly influenced by science fiction literature and cinema, which is often described as using the narrative device of 'cognitive estrangement'. This relates to Science fiction's ability to offer an experience of something uncannily different, that can be alluring and terrifying at the same time, but that is ultimately used to allow a broader perspective, to look back on the familiar with new light. This experience of something beautiful but strange, is a sensation I wish to create through ceramic and glass materials.
Please get in touch if you have any questions about my work or if you would like to discuss commissions