Clare Phelan

Working primarily in the field of printmaking, Clare has developed an interest in collecting and reworking mass produced redundant artefacts.

Influenced by the post industrial landscapes of Northern England where she has lived all her life, her current practice utilises nineteenth and twentieth century coding technology artefacts such as textile jacquards, music box discs and IBM punch cards.

Clare explores these artefacts as carriers of narrative, the paper creases and the rusty damaged metal tell stories of obsolete technologies. They hold memories of their past, of their making and function. They also evoke memories of those who made and used them.

The traditional analogue printmaking processes she employs echo the labour inherent in the making of these materials, while the binary language of the machine dances in rhythmic patterns through her work as a signifier of our digital age.

Winner of the inaugural Scott Creative Arts Foundation Emerging Artist Award 2019, Clare was also shortlisted for the London Contemporary Art Prize in 2019, and the Flourish Award for Excellence in Printmaking in 2017.

“There’s a cycle of history through ordinary lives, of which Phelan has become an intrinsic player. Time is elasticised, bouncing back and forth as she uncovers objects that have lost their purpose, relics that she can re- use, and for their earlier stories to be re-told. The narratives are materially held in Phelan’s captivating work; each print bearing witness to the past.”

Dr Wendy Rhodes Printmaking Today | Vol 31 | Summer 2022 | Issue 122 | pp 16-18

Instagram: clarephelanprintmaker