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Ms R Louise Clarke

Job: Senior Lecturer, Fine Art

Faculty: Arts, Design and Humanities

School/department: School of Visual and Performing Arts

Research group(s): Fine Art Practice Group

Address: The Gateway, De Montfort University (DMU), Leicester, UK, LE1 9BH

T: n/a

E: lclarke@dmu.ac.uk

W: dmu.ac.uk/vapa

 

Personal profile

Artist/curator/writer Louise Clarke’s art practice embraces a range of media such as print, photography, drawing and recycled and scavenged materials to produce a variety of outcomes including installation, 2D and 3D works, multiples and architectural scale interventions.

These media are deployed in an ongoing interrogation of:

  • the articulation of utopia as a means to satisfiy politics, social relationships, ambition and daydreaming
  • the primal landscape as a blueprint throughout our lives, silently influencing our engagement with landscape and architecture
  • the ‘feral’ as a way of working and as a subject matter: our battle to control nature’s encroachment in both the physical and primal emotional realms.

Her specialisms are printmaking and drawing, in their widest application, as equally valid platforms with which to address and engage current visual art practices, debates and research.

A recent (December 2015) curatorial output was :Xenotopia, a group exhibition of 14 artists including Turner Prize winner Grayson Perry and DMU alumni Theo Miller (artists: Emily Allchurch, Amba Sayal-Bennett, Berenika Boberska, Pablo Bronstein, Rachel Clewlow, Noémie Goudal, Sarah Anne Johnson, Katherine Jones, Catriona Leahy, Theo Miller, Paul Noble, Grayson Perry, David Price and Jenny Wiener). :Xenotopia was a wide-ranging creative audit of ‘out-of-place places’, particularly strange, fictitious architecture and ‘xenospaces’, imagined, meta-geographic locations that exist only theoretically, ethereally or subconsciously. ‘Xenotopia’ is a term coined by British writer Robert McFarlane to describe an uncanny landscape. Xeno is the Greek word for ‘other’, or that which is ‘different in origin’, while topia is the suffix deployed by Thomas Moore in his 1516 book, Utopia – a work of political philosophy manifested through the depiction of a fictionalized island society.

Through the expanded medium of print, each of the artists showing in :Xenotopia offered their own unique explorations and visualisations of similarly fictional but redolent places of psycho-geographic ambiguity or putative architectural fantasy. The works displayed a range of, often tangential, anachronistic or merely tenuous connections and approaches to the printmaking medium.

In 2016 Louise was invited to interview noted printmakers on the panel of the Make It Happen symposimum, the brainchild of artist and academic Ruth Sumner in tandem with Leicester Print Workshop, with the aim of interrogating methodology, practice and concept through printmaking.

A passionate advocate of drawing as a universal language, her practice, commentary and curation has been recognised internationally. She has previously led drawing symposia in Slovakia, Ecuador, Russia and Libya supported by the British Council. She has collaborated with artists and architects in drawing-related exhibitions in LA and Chicago and group exhibitions in Finland as well as group and solo exhibitions in the UK.

Louise has co-curated and programmed public art events through the Big Draw campaign since 2000, working with institutions such as the British Museum, The Natural History Museum and the V&A. In a similar role, Louise has worked with English Heritage as lead artist in a range of site-specific art projects.

Her fictional writing and cultural commentary are both a tool for research enquiry and collaboration as well as an explorative medium with which to articulate creative outputs. She writes a regular column in the quarterly The Saatchi Gallery Magazine: Art & Music and was its guest editor for a 2011 issue dedicated to the question ‘Is drawing still relevant?’, synthesising the work and critical thinking of a variety of cultural practitioners in order to survey drawing’s currency. The same year she judged the Saatchi Showdown: Drawing Competition alongside artist Dexter Dalwood.

Louise is currently working on both a publication and a further drawing-based exhibition related to :Xenotopia.

Louise Clarke graduated from Central St Martins in 1997 and gained her MA from the Royal College Of Art in 1999 and was a Fellow of the RCA in 2000. She was formerly assistant to the late artist Helen Chadwick.

Research group affiliations

Fine Art Practice Group

Publications and outputs 

  • Marginalia
    Clarke, L. (2017) Marginalia. The Saatchi Gallery Magazine: Art&Music, (37), p.20
  • :Xenotopia
    Clarke, L. (2016) :Xenotopia. 500 years of Utopias.17th International Conference of the Utopian Studies Society, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, 5-9 July
  • Line
    Clarke, L. (2016) Line
  • Dub It Out And Start Again
    Clarke, L. (2016). Dub It Out And Start Again. The Saatchi Gallery Magazine: Art&Music, (35), p.20
  • :Xenotopia
    Clarke, L. (2015). Curator. :Xenotopia. The Gibberd Gallery. Harlow, Exhibition
  • Markeing Time
    Clarke, L. (2015) Marking Time. The Saatchi Gallery Magazine: Art & Music, (30), p.19
  • Calendar Girl
    Clarke, L. (2015) Calendar Girl. The Saatchi Gallery Magazine: Art & Music, (31), p.22
  • The Case For Pencils
    Clarke, L. (2015) The Case For Pencils. The Saatchi Gallery Magazine: Art&Music, (32), p.18.
  • Clothes, Clothes, Cloths. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys.
    Clarke, L. (2014). Clothes, Clothes, Cloths. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys. The Saatchi Gallery Magazine: Art&Music, (27), p.46
  • Hannah Hoch
    Clarke, L. (2014) Hannah Hoch. The Saatchi Gallery Magazine: Art&Music, (26), p. 56

Click here to see a full list of Louise's research outputs

Key research outputs

A recent (December 2015) curatorial output was :Xenotopia, a group exhibition of 14 artists including Turner Prize winner Grayson Perry and DMU alumni Theo Miller (artists: Emily Allchurch, Amba Sayal-Bennett, Berenika Boberska, Pablo Bronstein, Rachel Clewlow, Noémie Goudal, Sarah Anne Johnson, Katherine Jones, Catriona Leahy, Theo Miller, Paul Noble, Grayson Perry, David Price and Jenny Wiener). :Xenotopia was a wide-ranging creative audit of ‘out-of-place places’, particularly strange, fictitious architecture and ‘xenospaces’, imagined, meta-geographic locations that exist only theoretically, ethereally or subconsciously. ‘Xenotopia’ is a term coined by British writer Robert McFarlane to describe an uncanny landscape. Xeno is the Greek word for ‘other’, or that which is ‘different in origin’, while topia is the suffix deployed by Thomas Moore in his 1516 book, Utopia – a work of political philosophy manifested through the depiction of a fictionalized island society.

Through the expanded medium of print, each of the artists showing in :Xenotopia offered their own unique explorations and visualisations of similarly fictional but redolent places of psycho-geographic ambiguity or putative architectural fantasy. The works displayed a range of, often tangential, anachronistic or merely tenuous connections and approaches to the printmaking medium.

This research output will continue with further outcomes being a possible publication and another exhibition utilising drawing as a way of investigating and articulation personal xenotopias.

Research interests/expertise

  • Feral
  • :Xenotopia.
  • Utopia.
  • Architecture.
  • Psychology of space
  • Primal Landscape
  • Printmaking
  • Drawing
  • Installation.
  • Fine art practices
  • Curation
  • Fiction
  • Cultural commentary
  • Art as education
  • Drawing as language.
  • Drawing in education.
  • Communication and learning through Drawing.

Areas of teaching

  • Fine Art.
  • Printmaking.
  • Contextual and Professional Studies

Qualifications

  • MA Fine Art: Printmaking / Royal College of Art, London
  • 1st Class BA: Fine Art and PhotoMedia / Central St Martins, London

Courses taught

  • BA Fine Art – Printmaking. Contextual and Professional Studies. Fine Art.
  • MA Fine Art – Fine Art.

Honours and awards

  • Elephant Trust – Production Grant – May 2004
  • Stanley Picker Fellow: Printmaking – Kingston University, Kingston – 1999-2000
  • Printmaking Fellow – RCA, London – 1999-2000
  • Printmaking Fellow – Gloucester University, Cheltenham – 1999-2000
  • Basil Alkazzi Research Travel Award – Research visit to N.Y, USA – 1998
  • Aylesford Newsprint Company – Selected Prize – December 1997
  • Faulkner Fine Art Prize – Judged by Bruce McLean – April 1996

Professional esteem indicators

Judge:

The Saatchi Gallery Showdown: Drawing: an online competition that gives artists from all over the world a chance to showcase their work and have it be judged by internationally acclaimed artists and curators. (Dexter Dalwood, Louise Clarke and Gemma de Cuz) https://www.saatchiart.com/showdown/finalist/showdown/8

Judge:

Invitation to judge Art Open (2014) at the Gibberd Gallery, Harlow along with Paul Hedge Director of Hales Gallery

External:

Anglia Ruskin – MA Fine Art and MA Printmaking

Review and cultural commentary:

Louise writes a regular column in the quarterly The Saatchi Gallery Magazine: Art & Music and was its guest editor for a 2011 issue dedicated to the question ‘Is drawing still relevant?’, synthesising the work and critical thinking of a variety of cultural practitioners in order to survey drawing’s currency.

Case studies

Review:
Nick Smith, Editor Relief Press reviewed :Xenotopia http://artmag.saatchigallery.com/xenotopia/

Review:
:Xenotopia - Exhibition Review
Paul Bayley ; Bayley, Paul 
Subject: :Xenotopia Exhibition, Utopia, Fine Art, Printmaking 
Citation: Bayley, P. (2016) The Saatchi Gallery Magazine: Art & Music. pp. 65 
Description:Review of :Xenotopia group exhibition. Curated by Louise Clarke. Artists in :Xenotopia Exhibition and future publication: Emily Allchurch, Amba Sayal-Bennett, Berenika Boberska, Pablo Bronstein, Rachel Clewlow, Noémie Goudal, Sarah Anne Johnson, Katherine Jones, Catriona Leahy, Theo Miller,Paul Noble, Grayson Perry, David Price and Jenny Wiener
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2086/12238 ISSN: 2042-1648 Date: 2016-03 

Article:
David Sheppard musician compiled a play list for :Xenotopia which was published on http://artmag.saatchigallery.com/the-sound-of-mountains/ 

Louise Clarke Portrait

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