WHENEVER WESTERN AUSTRALIA-BASED artist Claire Davenhall is in search of inspiration, she heads straight to the ocean. “Getting outdoors is an essential spark for creativity, where I saturate my mind with beautiful things,” says the artist.
Born the United Kingdom and a graduate of the prestigious Gray’s School of Art in Scotland, Claire migrated to Perth in 2007. Despite the change of scenery, her artistic practice has remained constant, and ever since she has been producing and teaching sculpture, ceramics and photography inspired by the spectacular Western Australian coastline.
“My work always comes back to the coast, found objects, migration and the desire to record and document thoughts, feelings, stories and memories,” says the artist. Drawing on her children’s uncanny ability to notice found objects such as rocks, shells, coral, bones, and other strange things that wash up on our shores, that may otherwise be overlooked, she collects, sorts, photographs and describes them using a three word combination of nouns and adjectives.
Claire began to produce macro-photographic works – larger-than-life photographs of these smaller items. “I like to stay a couple of days at the same location, just discovering the best things that have washed up on the shore, like gifts from the sea,” says the artist.
She is looking forward to creating gifts from the ocean from clay, that responds to the fragility of the coral reefs with Year 6 students this term.