Clare Thornton presented a selection of new works at Modern Clay, which opened on Digbeth First Friday, May 4th. This selection was drawn from her latest body of work ‘Materials of Resistance’ which developed her longstanding interest in falling and folding. Clare grew up in Birmingham and is now based in Plymouth. Originally coming from a performance background, in recent years Clare has worked with a range of malleable materials, including her body, to test her thinking around repetition, transformation and the trans-decorative. She presented her ideas through sculptural installation, live events and book works. A new publication to support this project was included as part of the display, containing contextual and experimental texts by writers/artists Phil Owen, Emma Cocker, Conor Wilson, Heike Roms and Natalie Raven.
This sharing of new works with Modern Clay marked the beginning of an exchange between artists and curators in Birmingham and Plymouth supported by PAC Home and Grand Union. Lucy Rollins, one of the curators of Clare’s recent exhibition at Plymouth Arts Centre, where she is Assistant Curator, did studio visits with Modern Clay artists in residence. Modern Clay’s founder Mark Essen did a return visit to Plymouth to present an artist talk at PAC Home and meet with artists there.
Through these kinds of exchange, our ambition is to open up dialogue between artists and curators in Birmingham and Plymouth, resulting in a strong network that creates new opportunities for artists in both cities.