2006 - 2006
Complete City Centre
Claire Morgan is a visual artist with a strong interest in the organic, in natural processes, and in the bodily connotations of natural materials. This forms the basis for her practice as an artist creating sculptural installations and continues to influence her work at present. Her installation, entitled ‘A New Moon’, was a giant bulb suspended from a tower crane and illuminated by hundreds of miniature lights mapping the contours of a four metre bulb.
The aspiration for this artwork was to generate a unique contrast against the winter sky, and to provoke and stimulate the audiences that came into contact with the site.
Originally commissioned in 2005 by Canterbury City Council for a site in Whitstable Harbour, ‘A New Moon’ toured to Bristol to appear on the development site of Cabot Circus during December 2006 and January 2007.
The work, which was positioned on the construction site at the junction of Bond Street and Newfoundland Street, was lit from dusk until dawn every day. Creating a dramatic presence in the night sky, the installation reflected the artist’s aspiration to make viewers pause and wonder and to deliberate over pre-conceived notions of objects and their place in the environment. When lit, its intermittent flickering suggested a ‘fault’ within its inner filament – a deliberate feature intended to provoke a sense of ‘work in progress’ which, during daylight hours was further heightened by the bulb’s appearing to be reminiscent of a demolition ball.
Claire Morgan was born in Belfast in 1980. She currently lives and works in London. She graduated in 2003 with a first class degree in Sculpture and has exhibited internationally, with solo exhibitions in the UK and Europe, and museum shows in US and Australia.
In the years after graduating Claire was shortlisted for a number of small awards, winning among others the Royal British Society of Sculptors Annual Bursary Award and Roy Noakes Award in 2004. Red or Dead, a sculpture made of thousands of cherries, caught the attention of the judges of the Premio Fondazione Arnaldo Pomodoro, International Competition for Young Sculptors, Milan (2006) where Claire was awarded the first prize of €10,000.
In 2008 The Fall, Claire’s first solo outing in London was well-received, and other solo exhibitions outside the capital – Periphery (UCA Farnham) and Gone With The Wind (The Laing Gallery, Newcastle) featured ambitious new works on a large scale. At the same time, drawing was becoming a more important part of Claire’s practice. EChO Wanted was the first exhibition where sculptures and drawings were shown together. It was also the first time that Claire worked with Galerie Karsten Greve.
Following sculptures at Palais de Tokyo (Fluid) and Fiac (Striking) Claire unveiled her first solo exhibition in France. Life. Blood., at Galerie Karsten Greve, Paris, received national news coverage in France, with private collectors acquiring most of the works on the opening night.
This was the first time Claire exhibited the ‘blood drawings’ that have rapidly become her signature. Paper is used to make touch drawings and collect the residues of the taxidermy process, before very detailed, intricate drawings in watercolour and pencil are added, including representations of the animals whose blood has been spilled on the page.
2010 exhibitions included Dead Or Alive, Museum of Arts and Design, New York, and on&on, La Casa Encendida, Madrid, where 12 international artists made ephemeral installations that changed over the course of the two-month show. By the end of the exhibition Claire’s work Down Time involved over 8,000 strawberries illustrating every stage in the process of decay.
Exhibitions in 2011 include Under The Sun, a solo exhibition at Galerie Karsten Greve, Cologne, Monanism, the inaugural exhibition at the Museum of Old and New Art in Tasmania, and Bestes, Bestiaux, et Bestioles, where a new large-scale sculpture was commissioned by Château D’Oiron, France.
Installations and drawings are in numerous private collections in the UK, Europe and Australia, including MONA, Altana, and Guerlain.