Claire Morgan

Claire Morgan is a visual artist with a strong interest in the organic, in natural processes, and in the bodily connotations of natural materials. This forms the basis for her practice as an artist creating sculptural installations and continues to influence her work at present. Her installation, entitled ‘A New Moon’, involves a giant bulb suspended from a tower crane and illuminated by hundreds of miniature lights mapping the contours of a four metre bulb.

The aspiration for this artwork was to generate a unique contrast against the winter sky, and to provoke and stimulate the audiences that came into contact with the site. 

Other recent commissions include:

No Match, Helmshore Mills Textile Museum, Lancashire, UK (2012) and To Woo You, Town Hall Hotel, London (2010).]

Claire Morgan was born in Belfast and now lives in London. Since graduating in 2003, Claire has exhibited internationally, with solo exhibitions in the UK and Europe, and museum shows in US and Australia.


After showing sculptures at Palais de Tokyo and Fiac in 2009, Claire unveiled her first solo exhibition in France. Life. Blood., at Galerie Karsten Greve, Paris, received national news coverage in France, with private collectors acquiring most of the works on the opening night. Alongside suspended sculptures, this was the first time Claire exhibited the 'blood drawings' that have rapidly become her signature. 

Recent exhibitions of note include Dead Or Alive, (MAD, New York), on&on, (La Casa Encendida, Madrid), Monanism, (MONA, Tasmania), and Bestes, Bestiaux, et Bestioles, where a new large-scale sculpture was commissioned by Château D'Oiron, France.

Installations and drawings are in numerous private collections in the UK, Europe and Australia, including MONA, Altana, and Guerlain.

 

Statement . June 2011

 

"My work is about our relationship with the rest of nature, explored through notions of change, the passing of time, and the transience of everything around us. For me, creating seemingly solid structures or forms from thousands of individually suspended elements has a direct relation with my experience of these forces. There is a sense of fragility and a lack of solidity that carries through all the sculptures. I feel as if they are somewhere between movement and stillness, and thus in possession of a certain energy.

 

Animals, birds and insects have been present in my recent sculptures, and I use suspense to create something akin to freeze frames. In some works, animals might appear to rest, fly or fall through other seemingly solid suspended forms. In other works, insects appear to fly in static formations. The evidence of gravity - or lack of it - inherent in these scenarios is what brings them to life, or death.

 

I feel a close connection with the natural world which I hope is evident in my work, but our clumsy, often destructive relationship with nature, and the 'artificial' world we have contrived for ourselves are of equal significance. Ultimately I find myself focussing on areas where the boundaries cannot be clearly defined.

 

The titles of the works are very important, and often make reference to historical or contemporary popular culture, words being appropriated from the titles of films or books, or phrases being manipulated through combination with the artwork. These connections often add a comedic element to the works, a sense of irony or bluntness that keeps them firmly rooted in my experience of the world that we humans inhabit. Though the phrases have a specific history, the jarring between the title and the form can bring a desirable ambiguity through intentionally creating confusion.

 

The processes involved in the work are laborious and there are thousands of individual elements involved, but clarity of form is of high importance. I do not wish the animals to provide a narrative, but rather to introduce an element of movement, or energy, or some sort of reality; animating or interacting with the larger architectural forms.

 

Drawing is important, and allows me to explore a different side of each idea. The processes involved in my blood drawings bring a growing degree of understanding of material and form. "

 

 

QUALIFICATIONS
2000-2003   
First Class, BA (Hons) Fine Art (Sculpture), University of Northumbria
1999-2000   Distinction, Foundation Studies in Art and Design, University of Ulster

 

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS
2012

Quietus, Galerie Karsten Greve, Paris - Opens 8th September

2011   
Menagerie, Kunstverein Münsterland, Coesfeld

Terminal, Centre for Recent Drawing, London

Under The Sun, Galerie Karsten Greve, Cologne

About Time, Hub National Centre for Craft and Design, Lincolnshire

2010   

Life. Blood., Galerie Karsten Greve, Paris

2008   

Periphery, James Hockey and Foyer Galleries, UCA, Surrey

Gone With The Wind, Great North Run Cultural Programme, The Laing Gallery, Newcastle

Chasing Rainbows, Selfridges, London

The Fall, curated by Adventure Ecology, The East Room, London

2007   

If you go down to the woods today, The Hospital, London

Head in the Clouds, Wooda Farm, Cornwall

2006   

Crowdpleaser, Persistence Works Studios, Sheffield

2005   

Hunter Gatherer, OMAC, Belfast

2004   

"All that is solid...", Grosvenor Chapel, Mayfair, London

Emotional Response, Lagan Lookout, Belfast

 

 

SELECTED GROUP SHOWS
2012
Death, SHOWstudio Shop, London
Making Waves: International Contemporary Art from the Saatchi Collection, Hyatt Regency London - The Churchill, London
Asthetik Der Natur, Sinclair Haus, Bad Homburg, Germany
100 Sculptures Animalieres: Bugatti, Pompon, Giacometti..., LM-A30, Paris
The Bones of My Hand, The Last Tuesday Society, London
2011   

Nature - Contemporary Art from the collection of the Altana Cultural Foundation
, Karl Ernst Osthausmuseum, Hagen
On Paper III, Galerie Karsten Greve, Paris
Anthro[physis], Rivera & Rivera Gallery, West Hollywood, LA

Bêtes Off, La Conciergerie, Paris

Bestes, Bestiaux, et Bestioles, Château D'Oiron, France

Monanism, MONA (The Museum of Old and New Art), Tasmania

Compulsive, Obsessive, Repetitive, Towner Gallery, Eastbourne

Counterpoint, Ormeau Baths Gallery, Belfast

Suspense, EX3 Centre for Contemporary Art, Florence
Lumiere International Light Festival, Durham, UK

Disconnected Everyday Tensions, Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast

2010   

Dead or Alive, Museum of Art and Design, New York

On&on, La Casa Encendida, Madrid (curated by Flora Fairbairn and Olivier Varenne)

Heart of Glass, 20 Hoxton Square, London

Enragés, Fondation Francès, Senlis, France

Resilience, Espace d'art contemporain La Tôlerie, Clermont Ferrand, France

Tracing Reality, Galerie Kashya Hildebrand, Zurich

2009   

Consumer, Palais de Tokyo, Paris (curated by COAL)

Editions, Ormeau Baths Gallery, Belfast

Caught In A Moment, ROLLO Contemporary Art, London

Building With Colour, Gallery North, Newcastle upon Tyne

2008   

Landscape, 18 @ 108, Royal British Society of Sculptors, London

EchO wanted, Galerie Karsten Greve, Paris

Domestico, Ierimonti Gallery, Milan

Jerwood Drawing Prize 2007, touring to various venues nationally

2007   

Radiance 07, Glasgow's International Festival of Light, Glasgow

Die Green, Live Pretty?, curated by Adventure Ecology, hosted by Pia Getty, London

Miniartextil 2007, Church of San Francesco, Arte & Arte, Como, Italy

Jerwood Drawing Prize 2007, Jerwood Space, London, touring nationally

Waste and The Natural World, The Gallery @ Adventure Ecology, London

2006

Your Gallery @ The Guardian, The Guardian Gallery in association with the Saatchi Gallery, London

Unnatural Selection, Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery, Shropshire

Inside Out at Cragside, Northumberland, works commissioned by National Trust

Premio Fondazione Arnaldo Pomodoro, Prize for Young Sculptors, Fondazione Pomodoro, Milan

2005   

Out There, (CAN 05), Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norwich

Sculpture at Hebden Bridge, Hardcastle Crags, Yorkshire

Bolwick Arts 3, Bolwick Hall, Norfolk

2004   

RBS Bursary 2004, RBS Gallery, 108 Centre, London

Exposure, Hatton Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne

2003   

Shrewsbury Sotheby's Exhibition, Shrewsbury Art gallery, Shropshire

2002   

Konturen, Kloster Bentlage, Rheine, Germany

 

RECENT ART FAIRS
2011
   Salon du Dessin, Art Cologne, Art Basel, Fiac (with Galerie Karsten Greve)

2010   Art Cologne, FIAC (with Galerie Karsten Greve)

2009   FIAC (with Galerie Karsten Greve)

2008   DNA @ Form Art and Design Fair, London

 

AWARDS, BURSARIES, 
2007   

COURVOISIER® The Future 500 rising stars - ranked top 10 Art & Design in The Observer

Jerwood Drawing Prize 2007 - shortlisted

2006   

Your Gallery @ The Guardian, voted top 10 artists on www.saatchi-gallery.co.uk/yourgallery

Premio Fondazione Arnaldo Pomodoro, first prize for 'Red or Dead'

2004   

Roy Noakes Award, selected by Royal British Society of Sculptors

Royal British Society of Sculptors, Annual Bursary Award

2003   

Short-listed for the Shrewsbury Sotheby's Prize & winner of the Peoples Choice Prize

 

RESIDENCIES
2011
Artist in Residence at Helmshore Mills Textile Museum, Rossendale
2007   

Artist in Residence at Adventure Ecology

Wooda Arts Award, February - March, Wooda Farm, Cornwall

2006   

8 week 'Art and the Public Realm' residency at Persistence Works, Sheffield

Artist in Residence, Belfast Print Workshop, Northern Ireland

2005   

Out There, Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norwich

Bolwick arts 3, a site-specific art residency at Bolwick Hall, Norfolk

2003   

Fine Art Fellowship, Northumbria University, School of Art

2002   

Konturen, a 10-day international workshop, based in Bentlage, Germany

 

SELECTED COMMISSIONS
2012
No Match, Helmshore Mills Textile Museum, Lancashire, UK
2010

To Woo You, Town Hall Hotel, London

2009   

Canopy, The Big Chill Festival 2009, Herefordshire

Pressure Makes Diamonds, Assembly Square, Cardiff Bay

2008   

Untitled seasonal installations designed in collaboration with Selfridge's

Spooning, Sheffield Millennium Galleries, Sheffield

Re(a)d, HLC, Telford

2007   

Vital Signs, Cardiff University

2006   

A New Moon (below), toured to Bristol Broadmeads

Rising Tide, Temporary Address, Blyth, Northumberland

2005

A New Moon, Whitstable Harbour, commissioned by Canterbury Council

Shift, Tynemouth Station, Tyne and Wear, commissioned by Nexus

2004   

Leave, Westonbirt Festival of the Garden 2004

Parallel, Grainger Market, Art in the Market, Newcastle upon Tyne

 

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

100 sculptures animalieres, Bugatti, Pompon, Giacometti..., Somogy Editions d'Art 2012 (cat)
Erratic: Visual Impact in Current Design, Gestalten 2011

Betes Off, MEditions du Patrimoine 2011 (cat)

Monanisms, Museum of Old and New Art 2011 (cat)
Suspense, Damiani, 2011 (cat)

On&on, La  Casa Encendida 2010 (cat)

Dead or Alive, Museum of Arts and Design 2010 (cat)

3D Typography, Mark Batty, Thames and Hudson 2010

Editions, Belfast Print Workshop 2009 (cat)

Periphery, James Hockey and Foyer Galleries 2008 (cat)

Jerwood Drawing Prize 2007, Wimbledon College of Art 2007 (cat)

Filare Il Tempo, miniartextilcomo 2007, Arte & Arte 2007 (cat)

8 Weeks, Yorkshire ArtSpace Residency Programme, Yass 2007

Die Green Live Pretty?, Arts Co and Pia Getty 2007 (cat)

Crowdpleaser, Art Editions North, Cornerhouse 2007 (monograph)

Premio Fondazione Arnaldo Pomodoro, 2006 (cat)

Sparks, Insite Arts 2006

 

COLLECTIONS
Installations and works on paper are in numerous private collections in the UK, Europe and Australia, including MONA, Altana, Guerlain

 

Claire Morgan is represented by GALERIE KARSTEN GREVE