Claire Mc Dermott MRBS born/lives in London and has dual Irish nationality. At De Montfort University, Lincoln, she studied Historic Decorative Crafts in wood and painted surface decoration. She has worked for Sir Dick Reid of York and for Alan Martin’s studios in Twickenham as a classically trained woodcarver and clay sculptor on architectural and figurative ornamentation.
Her artwork is based on research on spent plants that has led her to create a concept around this subject, which she explores as a sculptor. This vision is widened by painting and/or photography creating a body of work around a particular flower.
She has worked in partnership with Harrow Arts Centre (HAC), to receive funding from the Arts Council, England to launch the opening of The Gallery at HAC. The Picture Advisory Panel, RHS, awarded Mc Dermott’s watercolour paintings botanically correct in 2014 and she was awarded a Silver-Gilt medal for her six watercolour paintings in the 2015 New RHS London Botanical Art Show. Mc Dermott was shortlisted for the watercolour competition at the Royal Institute of Painters in watercolour (RI) in 2015 exhibiting at the Mall Galleries and received a 'highly recommended' for her sculpture form Courtyard Arts Centre Open competition, Hertford. Her work is also held at Cill Rialaig Arts Centre, Ireland and at Luminaire Arts, London.
This year Mc Dermott received a residency from ForumArts Sculpture Symposium 2016 that is sponsored by the Royal Borough Kensington and Chelsea. The residency was held at Himalayan Gardens at Riverhill House in Kent and further support will be given by the London Sculpture Workshop. Together with the AA2A residency she will be exhibiting at The Sculpture Garden, Cookham Festival, Oxford and will giving an artist talk about her work at the Royal Society of British Sculptors in 2017.
My current project called ‘Identity’ has been built as a body of work using the microscopic research, on the different stages of a spent Michaelmas daisy. My aim for this project is to capacitate the soft rawness of the dried flower head and shows where the petals and seed are attached to on the plant. There are no enticing bright colours of a flower in full booms with their fragrance, just a stripped bare base revealing tiny monumental craters.
The residency at Artist Access to Art College at Chelmsford is an excellent opportunity, as it gives me the time to focus on putting my ideas into practice. This is heaven for an artist, who like me, wants to utilize their skills, but don’t have all the right equipment. As a mixed media artist I am more than interested in their wood and ceramic department because it would bring together skills that I can refine.
The titled ‘Brink,’ comes from thoughts on the anatomy of each crater so tightly packed together making me think of being on the verge and how do we know each other’s boundaries if you can’t see or feel them?
I will also make multiples of earthenware clay cushions that sit on different high stools by taking a mould from the base of the flower head of ‘Brink.’ This installation will create a surreal and dreamlike feel to a space – the titled ‘Nude,’ refers to the innocence of their fleshy colour and the unclothed flower.
This opportunity will enable me to bring my microscopic research, on Michaelmas daisy into fruition and create a new sculpture and an installation.