Journeys: The Energy and Spiritual Presence of a Place
A few years ago Claire Wiltsher decided to embark on a personal adventure. She left her job, sold her house, packed her bags and started a series of journeys, personal travels to various corners of the world. Along her way she started a collection of sketches, notes and photos, along with the other paraphernalia that travelers accumulate. On returning home a rich catalogue of ephemera provided the ideas for something more stable and lasting. This collection of recent paintings by Wiltsher, entitled Journeys, is the culmination of thoughts, feelings and the tangible objects that accompany living in unknown fields.
Wiltsher, who cites Portuguese-French artist Maria-Helena Vieira da Silva as an influence, is interested in the structural and architectural composition of places she visits. The majority of her canvasses are square, which she feels is important in creating a balance and harmony in her paintings. The work is ambiguous however; despite some realistic elements, structure gives way to light and energy and an evocative sense of a place emerges. The teacher of life drawing, believes looking too realistically can sometimes hinder her creative process. She works from photographs but follows natural impulses, recreating a place by collaging different sections together – an alchemy of ideas all built into the composition.
Claire Wiltsher has gained a wealth of exhibiting experience, alongside her 15 years of teaching. She holds a Masters in Fine Art from Northumbria University and her work has been shown in the Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, the Darlington Arts Centre and the Jelly Legâ€™d Chicken Gallery in Reading, to name but a few venues.