Get involved: send your pictures, video, news & views by texting Harrow Times to 80360, or email us
Claire McDermott has created thought-provoking pieces by examining nature. She talks to Amie Mulderrig ahead of her exhibition
Flowers, a poignant reminder of life and death. In bloom for a short period and then relegated to the bottom of the dustbin, once admired, now forgotten.
But not for Claire McDermott. The Harrow-based artist has taken inspiration from used and dead flowers for her new solo art exhibition Personas.
The show, which is at Harrow Arts Centre, is a culmination of two years work and brings together her unique technique which combines plant morphology (form and structure) on spent blooms with metal and glass sculpture, which she finds captivating, for their ability to have unnoticed beauty.
“It’s a mix of completed and unfinished sculptures,“ Claire explains.
“I’m excited to hear people’s opinions on my work and see the reaction to my interpretation of plant morphology.“
Her artwork often begins as a representation of nature, but by developing each body of work the viewer can see the creative progress of the transformation from traditional art forms into the abstract.
Although the show is called Personas, she has titled her new pieces Michaelmas and it is a body of work that defines the identity of each sculpture within a group.
This series of sculptures were influenced by her drawings of a dead Aster ‘amellus’, common name Michaelmas Daisy, combining the natural forms of the petals with curved metal to creating a harmony between the two.
“The full view of each sculpture was purposely broken with a screen in order for the viewer to question what they were looking at,“ Claire says.
“The need to now relate to the artwork and look beyond the surface of the transparent object creates a natural human interaction.
“By creating the housing of the sculptural forms, it meant that the foreground was placed in a setting to match the identity of the sculpture.
“The inventive usage of objects naturally creates a partition, breaking from the twee flower subject and changing how object art is viewed.
“I found myself asking, could these screens be seen as a mask for the sculpture? “This concept became an important dimension of the finished sculpture as I consciously sought to cover, protect and shield my work, without hiding it.
“And this raised further questions. Why do we use different personas for different people or for the social environments we may be in throughout our day?
“Are we aware that we do this and do we step behind different masks or screens with ease or is it a never-ending role we feel we have to play?“
Personas runs from March 22 to April 6, the The Gallery, Harrow Arts Centre, Uxbridge Road, Hatch End. Artist talk: Thursday, March 21 at 4pm.