Having been awarded the title of Best Emerging Fine Artist by Kate Stanners of Saatchi & Saatchi, Clementine McGaw’s arresting works will be offered in a special solo exhibition topically titled: Suffering Through Conflict.
The works selected for the exhibition highlight the impact and universal suffering caused by the atrocities of war. Clementine looks to present images of the suffering of all parties involved in the fall out of war, from those participating in a literal sense, to those affected on an emotional level, perhaps if they have family or friends involved in conflict. In light of this, the exhibition is proud to support the charity HELP for HEROES*, set up in 2007 to aid wounded soldiers and their families.
While her images are beautiful depictions in themselves, they cannot fail to have a huge impact on the onlooker. Describing her works, Saatchi & Saatchi’s Creative Director, Kate Stanners says: “The combination of the simplicity of her images with the intense complex emotion has great power.”
Indeed while her works invite empathy and understanding, they do not romanticise the subject matter. Clementine uses the medium of art as a vehicle to communicate and encapsulate the inner turmoil of human suffering on varying levels.
Her works pare down the subject of war to a human level where the suffering is individual, personal and unique to each person and she explores and symbolises this suffering in a unique and refreshingly frank, raw, yet humanistic way. The suffering is the excruciating pain caused by loss, in both the literal and more generic sense, from an individual’s suffering to society’s desensitisation to conflict and the overall impact on the societies that war affects. While the topic is current, it is not a modern day condition and the images evoke and often depict suffering through atrocity from past eras.
Describing her works Clementine says: “In the works selected for this, my first solo exhibition, I have explored the human condition and social impact of conflict on not just us as a society, but each of us as individuals.
Throughout history conflict has caused suffering on a range of levels and there is a sense of empathy within my works that take on board the result of our actions and determine where we go on a global level from here. The subject of war is an impassioned one and I try to look more deeply into the personal impact it can have, as well as the inner conflict within ourselves that we may feel about our actions. Suffering knows no boundaries and my works seek to not just encapsulate this, but to instigate empathy and understanding.
In the creation of my works I am affected by authentic images of Prisoners of War, Genocide, Ethnic Cleansing, the Holocaust and the My Lai Massacre. I identify wholly with the human pain and suffering in these images and feel an overwhelming sense of responsibility and compassion in portraying them. It is these very real feelings that I try to encapsulate on canvas. I believe it is this genuine feeling in my works, that the onlooker connects with.”
A total of six works will go on sale at the exhibition, with prices ranging from £1,400-£2,400.
Suffering Through Conflict
12th – 22nd January 2011
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