Clara Durán from Madrid, Spain just completed the MA Visual Arts: Fine Art Digital course at Camberwell. We interviewed her to find out about her practice, time at Camberwell and what’s to come next.
From different points of view and fields of study, the work of Clara Durán investigates the relation between water and humans in a symbolic, poetic and holistic way. Her research and practice is framed in the water cycle representing the solid, the liquid, and the gas state of humans. She unites photography, painting, performance and poetry into a piece that represents oneness, with the wish to integrate what she is passionate about, while also showing the counter position to the fragmented and compartmentalised system we live in. Colour is a key element of her work as she analyses it through her own synaesthesia.
Clara explains her work and her process…
The square format of her work – in which a circle can be inscribed – symbolises the eternal, the expansion; there is a dialogue with the vertical brushstroke, which reminds us of the finite, the linear and unidirectional. The indigo blue is in dialogue with the orange –like water and fire, a key combination to the imagination of matter. Photography, the nucleus of all, is determined by the performance and the painting; it is made physical on 35 mm film only to become digital by scanning it, then becoming physical again by printing it – following a circular route. The recorded performance has a static representation but with a dynamic symbolism. Poetry is an open statement, a micro-poem that frees the way into the work for the reader, or for the viewer; it opens and closes the piece through the title. Her piece ‘Hail radiates across the ripple’ references the water body that enters deep down to its liquid environment, radiating energy through it and creating circular waves, pulsations, pushing outward from the centre. It is an analogy for a mandala and therefore the mechanism of the cosmos.
Clara prepared a big part of her Degree Show from Bucharest, she discussed all the preparations with her course leader and her colleagues online. It was an interesting experience for her, she learned new ways of putting all the elements of a lot of research together.
Her time at Camberwell allowed her to explore media in various ways, changing the order in which she added them to the process and therefore obtaining different final results. She used different paths of performing and photographing, different types of painting, and she has polished her poetry process as well. Above all Clara has developed reflective abilities of practice and research, allowing her to make progress through total awareness.
Clara nourishes from different sources of inspiration, like Gaston Bachelard’s analysis on the four elements, Zygmunt Bauman’s concept of liquidity, Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis or the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. She also has a very delicate appreciation for musicians and composers such as Frederic Chopin, Franz Liszt or Beethoven. In the visual arts she is influenced by the work of Bill Viola, Olafur Eliasson, Andy Golsworthy, Fabienne Rivory, Jason Shulman or Berndnaut Smilde.
After graduation Clara’s plans are to develop a project that adds sound as a fifth media through interactive technologies. It will be a collaboration with sound artists and it will be exhibited at Instituto Cervantes of Bucharest, Romania, where she is now based. Clara will also start a PhD that analyses human progress through visual art, bringing together a study of artists worldwide that are contributing to meaningful issues following nature’s design.
For this summer, Clara was given the opportunity to go to Norway in August with a group of artists and researchers to develop a project at the Neptun Developer Camp, Museum Nord. She is full of energy to keep working, especially in a place surrounded by water and so close to the Arctic.
Clara’s advice for those thinking of taking the MA Visual Arts: Fine Art Digital course is to keep working all the way throughout the course and to use all the resources, including the online courses. She found it very helpful to get involved in the talks and workshops that the university offers, especially the ones that analyse your career and interests. They are very useful as they make you reflect, which gives you a clearer direction to achieve your goals, you also get the chance to share your thoughts, wishes and ideas with wonderful people across all the courses. It is necessary to go out and talk to people, and see all the great exhibitions in London. With a smart combination of all these your time at UAL will make a difference in your professional and personal career.