The British artist Clare Woods (b. 1972) is taking over Martin Asbæk Gallery to present her first solo exhibition in Denmark. Wood’s paintings are in oil on aluminium and are often in large formats.
It takes a special kind of discipline and not least a high level of ambition to create a work 400 x 300 cm. But at the same time so much space gives you great freedom to express yourself – and Woods manages this freedom to perfection.
The actual process begins with Woods’ own photographs, mounted the length and breadth of the space to form a whole tableau. Later the subject is sketched on the aluminium panels before the oil paint is applied. With her point of departure in her own photographs from the English and Welsh landscape, Clare Woods takes us on an emotional journey in behind the beautiful exterior of the landscape in her paintings. We crawl into underground grottos where we are caught by roots that branch out and grow together with other plants, leaves and organic growths. Nature stands alone and symbolizes all that stands outside the contract represented by society and the community.
Clare Woods grew up in the countryside. In 1999 she took her Master in Fine Art degree from Goldsmiths Collage in London, and since then her career has picked up speed. At first Woods photographed at night. The idea was to create and show an emotion in the landscape rather than to depict the landscape itself. Over time the works have developed through three major phases. The first works were based on depictions of forests and trees, but zooming in close to the organic growths. After this water and lakes were often included in the works. The third phase, presented by the works in the exhibition, is based on photographs from Yorkshire, with the works primarily featuring rocks, stones and roots.
Clare Woods has exhibited at a number of prominent galleries and museums in Europe and the USA. In Denmark Woods is represented in ARKEN’s collection and at present can be seen in the museum’s ‘art axis’ with an enormous work of 3 x 10 metres.