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Michael Clarence

Michael Clarence
  • Work
  • Biography
I enjoy thinking about the traditional associations of oil on canvas and its effectiveness as a medium in the contemporary world. The uniqueness of oil lies in its temporality as a medium, specifically in a world which feels as though it has succumbed to the photographic image. Within my work are figurative forms which are drawn from different aspects of my life, usually triggered by an interest in a specific feeling, shape, colour or form. Work is drawn from a variety of sources: life, magazines, television and film and collaged into new scenarios, as I attempt to deal with a set of formal concerns. It is this interesting exchange between fixedness of the material and the moment of the image that I find enjoyable. Within the process of making, I continue to play with the idea of permanency of material and memory as paint is applied and removed in equal measure which may or may not result in a spontaneous or gestural looking image. Consequently, these new narratives produce a series of assumptions or misunderstandings that explore the tension that exists between the painting and the image and in many ways, ask us to question the authenticity of memory or lived experience.


2015 – 2017 BA (Hons) Painting, Gray’s School of Art, Aberdeen: First Class
2003 – 2007 BA (Hons) Sculpture/Environmental Art, Glasgow School of Art


2018 OPEN – SSA & VAS Together 2018, Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh
2018 FBA Futures Exhibition, Mall Galleries, London
2017 Where Do We Go From Here, Aberdeen Arts Centre, Aberdeen
2017 Painting Pre Degree Show, St Margarets House, Edinburgh Palette. Edinburgh
2016 Rapid, AU Gallery, Vienna. Week long cultural visit to Vienna, Austria
2014 Transmission Members Show, Transmission Gallery, Glasgow
2007 The Shit and the Precious Go Hand in Hand, Degree Show, Glasgow School of Art
2007 Solo Show, The Assembly Gallery, Glasgow
2006 The Space Between Us Is What Keeps Us Together, Vic Gallery, Glasgow
2006 Found Café, Cabin Exchange 2020, Pollokshaws, Glasgow Week-long public art event


2017 Aberdeen Arts Centre Graduate Award
2007 Beno Shotz Prize for Sculpture
2007 Glasgow Sculpture Studios Scholarship