Claire Partington creates delightful ceramic figures that synthesize historical characters, myths, fairytales and folklore. Her figures exist in a world that blends genres and time periods to present historically informed, contemporary and socially conscious works.
With the hand of a formally trained sculptor, Partington creates exquisite figures, clothed in an 18th Century Marie Antoinette-style dress, paired with Adidas sneakers, gold chains and carefully placed Chanel logos. Partington plays with our attention to status cues, now and then, and how we identify our tribes. Her work seeks to explore the subtle mutations of the timeless narrative of the haves and have-nots, as it morphs and changes with each retelling and altered context.
As Partington explains, subjects and themes explored in her work are drawn largely from the European tradition of “appropriation and reinterpretation (or misinterpretation) of “exotic” styles that can be seen in National Collections across the world.” Partington relishes in borrowing from many styles, themes, disciplines, time periods and countries – blurring the lines of styles and meaning. The resulting sculptures present an intriguing and fantastical story of traditional and contemporary visual narratives.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Claire Partington graduated from Central Saint Martins in 1995 with a 1st in Fine Art Sculpture and gained a Post Graduate qualification in Museum Studies in 2000. She started making ceramic works after attending night school classes in 2005. Her work features in notable international collections including the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, the Museum of London, Seattle Art Museum, Ömer Koç Collection, Istanbul and the Reyden Weiss Collection in Germany. She was the recipient of the Virginia A Groot award in 2018, and the same year exhibited an important large-scale commission ‘Taking Tea’ at Seattle Art Museum.