The studio of the artist Clare Woods gives a fascinating insight into her distinctive mode of image-making. An industrial scale workshop, you might expect it to be in East London, but instead it’s in rural Herefordshire where she relocated several years ago. The drive to the studio through the countryside must inform the organic forms in her paintings, which seem to have metamorphic qualities. Like the best of automatic Surrealism, these are sophisticated and ‘multi-evocative’ works, with their power and meaning located in between the definite forms that the viewer can identify. The studio reflects her way of working: photographs and drawings of source material are pinned to the walls- often unsettling images, or paintings and sculptures by artists she admires: these include Henry Moore, Stanley Spencer, Paul Nash and others. One of her paintings on the wall is her response to a Paolozzi sculpture of a Shattered Head - transformed in Clare’s hands into something suggestive of a weathered rock form.
The huge space has enabled her to work on large scale. She paints the works flat on trestle tables, often painting in series and reworking until a painting finds resolution. Drawing is evidentially an important aspect of her process, but so too spontaneity and taking pleasure in act of moving paint across the surface. It’s an inspiring space and a privilege to see new work taking form.