Art & Photography – 9th April 2018

Claire is making a return visit after her previous talk, several years ago. We will see where she currently is at, as she blends together images and music, and creates beautiful, approachable, and yet sometimes enigmatic digital work.

Claire Reika Wright

I was born in London right at the end of WW2 and grew up in Croydon, Surrey. Always interested and fascinated by painting I was lucky enough to have a step father who was a graduate of The Slade School of Art and who taught the subject at Royal Russell School. William Wright was an incredibly gifted artist and a sensitive enough teacher to generally leave me to my own devices, show by example and only occasionally exhort me to look and draw what I saw as faithfully as I could! At Whitgift School I was taught in a similar fashion by Henry Maslin and Frank Potter R.A.

From about the age of 18 I realized that all I really wanted to do was paint and from then on every career move I made was secretly geared towards my being able to have the time and energy to paint the pictures that I knew were inside me. Having discovered, much later on, that my great grandfather and two great uncles had been professional artists I became even more determined.

After a number of eventful years which included getting married, going to Teacher Training College, studying art, working as an office cleaner, taxi driver, gardener, church warden and eventually as an export executive for Eschmann England, a large medical instrument manufacturer, I moved with my young family to Perth, Western Australia in 1974.

I painted whenever I could in the late seventies and eighties and held a number of exhibitions of abstract works. Finally in 1994, once my two sons had taken off to follow their dreams as musicians, I took the plunge and committed myself full time to earning a living as professional artist. I have, since then, painted almost continually and now have works in private collections and galleries around the world. I began by painting only landscapes of the rugged Western Australian South West; then for eight years figures of varying degrees of unreality (The Vividz) appeared as the central themes. In between painting abstracts and making hybrid moving image work I have continued with the Vividz theme and am now engrossed in producing a new series. The stories my paintings tell are enigmatic and are often autobiographical – maybe even the abstracts!!

I decided to return to live in England in July 2001 and since then I have held eight very successful solo exhibitions and many group shows in the Home Counties, Wales, London and Munich. After five enjoyable and informative years curating exhibitions for The Mill Arts Centre in Banbury I became once more a full time artist in 2009.

In the early 80s I started to add soundtracks to abstract paintings, studied sound engineering and worked in a variety of recording studios. The combination of the visual with sound/music is a powerful one and I have spent many years developing the skills necessary to make the combination work successfully. Long listed (4 times) and short listed in 2014 for the international digital fine art competition ‘The Lumen Prize’ and being listed by Sedition has promoted my digital art to a wider audience with my moving image work being shown around the world.