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7 pieces by Emily Clark
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Blue Light
 
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Due West 15
 
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Intense Red
 
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Night Burrows
 
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Red Storm
 
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Red Storm ll
 
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Sun Out
 
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Emily Clark Paintings
I like to believe - and the signs are there - that art practice in Britain is undergoing a sea change, a move away from self-obsession towards a regained appreciation of what surrounds us: the astounding, if battered, beauty of nature. It is a Damascus moment, well expressed by Eliot: '... the end of all our exploring/Will be to arrive where we started/And know the place for the first time.' We wake up, we blink and find we are, after all, in paradise. It costs no money. The gates are open, we can all go in. All of this is to say that I'm a landscape/seascape painter, devoutly abstracted, always have been, always will be. For my MA at KIAD (now ucreative) in Canterbury (2004-2005) I chose to do a project on the Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris), a conservationist journey which took me from North Devon (where I have my studio) to the remnants of the ancient Caledonian forest, now resurgent right across the Highlands, from Beinn Eighe, Glen Affric and Abernethy to the Black Wood of Rannoch. I used digitally reconstructed video and photography and for my MA Show, a mammoth pine installation. After that, I beat it back to paint and canvas.I love space, can't get enough of it, and of course colour. Currently, I've noted a distinctly - and I might say, entirely unpremeditated - ghost of the patriot stealing into the images. This has nothing to do with nationalism, but simply love for the countryside, coastline and wildlife which makes the British Isles such an incomparable place to live in, and in my case, paint in. Another poet, when asked why he was going off to war, stooped down for a handful of earth and let it trickle through his fingers. 'Literally for this', he said. The life of Edward Thomas at the Front was to last barely a few hours. The fact that his country (and mine and, most likely, yours) is presently under threat on every side - ecologically, culturally and politically - seems to make this perception all the more urgent and in need of expression.
 
Education:
MA Fine Art, University College for the Creative Arts at Canterbury, 2004 - 2005 BA (Hons) Fine Art Painting, Winchester School of Art, 1999 - 2002 Foundation (BTEC) Ravensbourne College of Design & Communication 1998 - 1999
 
Single Exhibitions:
Stark Gallery, London, 'Horizons' 2003

Private Exhibition at 19 Ulundi Road 'Due West' 2006
 
Group Exhibitions:
BA Fine Art Degree Show, Winchester School of Art 2002

MA Fine Art Degree Show, University College for the Created Arts at Canterbury, 2005
 
Artist's Statement:
Canvas before me, colours (still in tubes) laid out, brush held fast in left hand, Boards of Canada - unfortunate name in this context - resonating up to the roof lights . . . I realized the other night in my studio that in a sense I am a patriot before I am a painter. Or, better, I am a patriot who paints. Explain, explain! . . . Simple: this is not the bellicose statement of some person on the far right (the first interpretation which most would place upon it, no doubt). Far from it. I love not so much the Nation - but, literally, the country, the countryside, the coasts, the skies, the flora and fauna, in short the land which sent Edward Thomas to his death and which, in more recent times, has been recorded so well in the work, for example, of Richard Mabey. The subject of this love is, of course, disappearing, piece by piece. But large amounts remain and , one imagines, will always survive. And yet physical destruction is not the only concern. The danger, in a world so materially distracted, so vicarious - the very Apple environment which hooks me as much as anyone - is that we are not sufficiently 'out there'. That we no longer live or look upon the world as we should. And while this sentiment is hardly new it is still a matter of increasing urgency. I paint because I have to, but also for kindred spirits, patriots in kind.
 
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