Artist Clare Burnett is a sculptor, painter and site-specific artist based in London. She can be found walking around the streets being inspired the banality of everyday detritus to working with schools and colleges to help students develop their creativity.
Clare is a great example of a modern artist finding a way to stay freelance and independent while working with institutions and galleries, using all her skills to ensure she earns an income from many sources to sustain her practice.
We have been really inspired by Clare’s approach to being a contemporary artist and her diverse practice, which is why we asked her to be an artist in residence for MyIdeasBook. Here she is sharing her thoughts and inspirations, in her own words.
Where do you seek your inspiration Clare? I’m inspired by what I see in the street –the mass of visual information we are exposed to and the shapes and forms that we pass by.
What really excites you and gets your ideas flowing at the moment? I have been working as Artist in Residence at Leighton House. I have found the challenge of placing minimalist work in the opulent environment of the house very exciting. The extravagant drapery in Leighton’s paintings has led me to notice the crumpled paper and abandoned boxes in the street and I have been making work inspired by this.
Do you still use paper sketchbooks and notebooks? I do – I have never been very organized so I have several books on the go – one lost, one in my bag and one somewhere in the studio or house. I often end up writing more than I draw but I still find them the easiest place to make notes and store bits and pieces.
Why does MyIdeasBook help the development of your work? For my current artist residency at Leighton House, I found My Ideas Book incredibly useful early on. Any links or images I found online, I stored in My Ideas Book. I could easily see them laid out, or link to the websites, and it helped me see where I was going. The Think Tool was invaluable and I used it several times to track the development of the project.
How has the internet changed the way you work? Has it opened possibilities and how do you embrace these? At its best, the internet is great for quick research and is a great way for getting in touch with people. Sometimes, however, I seem to spend hours getting nowhere in a virtual world. So yes, treated with care, it’s great.
Do you intend to use the internet to market and sell your work? I use it more to showcase my work rather than sell it. It means people can quickly look at the work I am doing. I also use it to link up with people through Facebook and LinkedIn.
Why did you choose to use MyIdeasBook? I chose MyIdeasBook because, unlike anything else online, it felt as if it was designed by and for artists. I find managing websites and images together cumbersome and it has provided me with an easy space to pull everything together.
Clare Burnett, Artist in Residence, Leighton House Museum 7 December 2011 – 5 January 2012
Clare Burnett was this year’s Artist in Residence at Leighton House Museum. Struck by Leighton’s use of elaborated folded drapery in his paintings, she has explored connections between it and the forms of abandoned paper and card left and blown around outside in London’s streets. This exhibition, the result of the residency, prompts us to look afresh at Leighton’s paintings as well as notice things in the outdoor environment that might never have been noticed before.