Wednesday, May 22, 2013

"Art Is A Risk. Take It"

Good things are brewing! I can feel it. Summer is close (disturbingly, it feels as though we are already in mid in August, such is the oppressive heat surrounding me as I write) and it holds promise. My lips are sealed...for now.

But I can let you know about "Human Beings II", a brilliant group exhibition exploring the disability experience that is currently on show at Woman Made Gallery in Chicago until June 20th. My piece "Spastic" was selected by artist and curator of this show, Riva Lehrer.

"Spastic" from the series "This Is You, This Is Me", 2012

The exhibition is also part of a wider festival in Chicago called "Bodies of Work", a mix of dance, theater and literature aimed at creating a greater awareness and understanding of what it means to be disabled through the arts. I particularly love and identify with their wonderful tag line "Art Is A Risk. Take It" and feel incredibly honored to be participating in their discussion. The festival runs until May 25th so not too many days left, but if you are in Chicago I encourage you to catch one or more of the remaining events.

My photograph caught the eye of a local journalist, Lindsey Peterson, and I was duly interviewed for a story "Living with Disability on Display in Rare Art Exhibit" in Medill Reports Chicago. My first foray into print...albeit digital print!

from the series "I Am My Body" 2010

All images © Claire Gilliam

Another quick word, my work from "I Am My Body" is still on view at the Art Factory in Paterson, NJ. This memorial weekend, The Paterson Arts Council is holding their fifth Annual Art Walk so it'll be the perfect opportunity to catch the show at this particularly amazing location.

Monday, May 13, 2013

The (untitled) Photograms

As my year of vigorous study with master printer Chuck Kelton and gallerist Alison Bradley winds down, my work begins to come into sharp focus. It's been an incredible time of discovery and growth and bloody hard work, and I'm excited to give you a small glimpse of some of the newest work. 

These pieces are one of a kind life-size photograms made with my body and layered with text, words reflecting upon the experience of the human body. They work in conjunction and expand upon the ideas within my previous portfolios "This Is You, This Is Me"(2012) and "I Am Body"(2010) but I feel they are more direct due to there being no camera involved. They speak more to physical presence and the impressions and marks we leave as we make our way forward.

This body of work is not finished,  but I have reached a place at which to pause before moving on to the next chapter. In some ways I feel the story is only beginning, but it is exhilarating to find myself venturing down my path less travelled. Nevertheless, I still have a few loose ends to tie up on those already made. They will be toned in gold and each is to be given a title. This will all be done just in time for our final class presentation at the end of the month.

  All images © Claire Gilliam

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Exhibition at Art Factory

I'm very excited to announce that my series "I Am My Body" will be on display at the Art Factory in Patterson, New Jersey as part of a group photography show "Art Factory Photography". The opening reception will be on 9th March 2013 from 2pm to 5pm and will be up for a month. If you are in the NY Metropolitan area, it would be lovely to see you there. There will be tours of the whole centre which is quite amazing for artists of all kinds.

"I Am My Body XIV" in situ

Installing my work

 Instagram images © Claire Gilliam

Sunday, February 3, 2013

New Work

Over the autumn months, I embarked on a new body of photographs. I suppose really it is a continuation of the ideas and concepts I've had about the human body and in particular my own disabled body, a deeper exploration of the images I made for the portfolio "This Is You, This Is Me".

I have introduced two new elements to my process: inspired by small photograms I made in college sixteen years ago I have begun to make life sized body photograms which allow me to examine the physical imprint that is left within a space, as well as thoughts of trace, presence and absence. Within these images I am playing with layering and text. These are works very much in progress, forever evolving and in the next few weeks I will post a few for you to see. Here though, is an Instagramed sneak peak to whet your appetite!

I have also taken on a collaborative partner, my husband, who under my direction aims my camera at me. His eye adds a new dimension to the work, extending the experience of being gazed upon and examined through somebody else's eyes and bringing into play the notions of sensuality, physicality and sexuality.

This work is as yet untitled but I thought I'd share with you a few of the new images. All prints are printed on semi-matt warm tone paper in the darkroom.

                                                                                   All images © Claire Gilliam