Girl in Pink and red Against Turquoise, 2018 - Oil on canvas
Claerwen James, born in 1970, originally trained as a molecular
biologist at Oxford University and Cold Spring Harbor, NY. She
graduated from the Slade School of Fine Art in 2003, and has won
various awards, most notably the Slade School's own Melvill
Nettleship Prize for Figure Composition. Introduced to Flowers
gallery by Andrew Stahl as part of our Artist of the Day programme
in 2004, she has gone on to have numerous solo exhibitions both
here in the UK and the US.
All of the portraits originated as photographs: some scavenged, some taken by the artist, who believes that the awkwardness of the photographic moment is crucial to the painful, elegiac quality of the paintings. Among the images used are those from Claerwen James' own childhood.
In 2006, Francis Spufford wrote that Claerwen James' subject matter is, in a sense, the photographic moment, when a point in time is snatched from the flow, "sealed into stillness and set in strange relationship to the continued life. . . which we do not see in photographs but which they always imply, giving the medium its mortal edge."
Features in Sisters, servants and students: 850 years of women at Jesus College
Jesus College Cambridge
Drawings from the Royal Drawing School
Featuring Claerwen James and Ishbel Myerscough
News and Events
Private View: Claerwen JamesLondon
15 May, 6:00 – 8:00pm
Claerwen James, interviewed by the Evening Standard
28 February 2013
Claerwen James at Flowers Gallery
26 February 2013
Claerwen James: The art of being Clive James's daughter
9 February 2013