By Celeste Hawkins
Claire Bridge could have easily been a scientist-Quantum Physicist to be more precise-but being a busy painter; she has decided to interweave these ideas into her works instead. Exploring that idea of ‘space and weightlessness’ as is the inside of an atom; she has given her female subjects a floating, dream like quality as they are suspended on the canvas. Soft, seductive and gaze averted, Claire has been able to successfully transpose her ideas to paint. An audience member at Flinders Lane Gallery asks: why the denial of facial expression? She explains:
“I like to leave gateways into my work-sometimes if you have a facial expression the story becomes about that one moment-that particular facial expression. I want to open that gateway a little bit wider so that you can bring your own imagination as to what that figure is thinking or feeling without having to attach to a certain face.”
Her enthusiasm for her underlying theme of alchemy –the combination of magic and science- as well as working with the medium of oil paint was evident as she engaged excitedly with her audience. As all good alchemists would-she was using the dream of her visitors (literally) to paint a picture to be auctioned, with proceeds going to ‘Make a Wish Foundation’. The medium here wasn’t oils, but Acrylic Inks diluted into glass vases. Visitors placed their little bits of paper into these vessels filled with coloured inks, whilst Claire proceeded to paint one of her alluring works on paper.
What a magical night it was.