Between Before and After
15.07.23 – 01.10.23
CCA Andratx is pleased to present the exhibition Between Before and After by renowned British artist Clare Woods. Over a career of more than twenty years, Clare Woods has developed a distinctive painterly language. Originally trained as a sculptor, Wood’s approach to painting has been described as “sculpting with paint” on a base of aluminum, and Woods herself describe the process as very physical.
Clare Woods finds her inspiration in photographs she has collected or taken herself, and in recent years, still lives of flowers have also been a recurring motif in Woods’ works. The flower arrangements contain strong references to the memento mori tradition, which has influenced the visual arts since the 17th century, conveying the short-lived nature of life and a sense of vulnerability to time itself.
This transmission of psychological emotional states and existential questions is characteristic of the artist’s practice, which works along the delicate border between illness and health, conscious and subconscious, and ultimately life and death. This ambiguous realm makes it possible for Woods to paint more difficult subjects in the same way as the beautiful, where repositioned details and forceful brushstrokes unite the works into a cohesive entity.
The artist’s most recent works also relate to the recent pandemic and subsequent lockdown. Woods was profoundly affected by the pandemic, but at the same time it was an excellent opportunity to focus on her work. Woods spent long, uninterrupted days in her studio painting intensively, also bringing impressions from home into her work, leading to familiar things then taking on new and distorted meaning.
The name of the exhibition Between Before and After is a reference to the fact that there is no going back in time, while the future also remains uncertain. With the current war in Ukraine, the exhibition’s name has taken on a completely new meaning: “My works have always had a trace of perceived fear and the real anxiety this fear causes. If we had not been through lockdown, I would never have been able to imagine what is happening in the world now and how to carry the enormity of this nightmare. Maybe we are all facing the question of what it means to be human”, Clare Woods says.
The exhibition features works from the past six years and is presented in collaboration with Serlachius Museums in Finland, where the exhibition was first shown in 2022 and Dundee Contemporary Arts in Scotland. Between Before and After is curated by Laura Kuurne, Serlachius Museums’ Head of Collections and Exhibitions, and the exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue of the same title, published by Parvs Publishing Ltd.
CLARE WOODS (b. 1972) is a British contemporary artist. Woods was commissioned by the Contemporary Art Society to create a permanent ceramic mural for the London 2012 Olympic Park, and in 2015 for Aarhus VIA University College, where she presented a 15 x 8 m painting. Woods’ work is included in the collection of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo; Arken Museum of Modern Art, Denmark: Arts Council Collection, London; British Council; CCA Andratx, Mallorca, Spain; Government Art Collection; The Nation Collection of Wales, Cardiff; Southampton City Art Gallery and many other national and international collections.
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