You And I Are Earth

Gallery East, Woodbridge, Suffolk.

3 – 6 May 2023

Open View Wednesday 3rd May 11-3pm

I am pleased to announce that Gallery East in Woodbridge, Suffolk will be showing my climate project You And I Are Earth for four days in May. A short, sharp, grab it while you can show of the full 46 paintings, exhibiting for the first time since its completion in January this year. The project will take up the entire ground floor of the gallery. Susie Turner has created a highly esteemed gallery in Woodbridge, Suffolk and I am proud to show the project under her expertise.

I will also be at the gallery 11-1pm  on Thursday 4 & Friday 5 May.

“You yourself are the eternal energy which appears as this universe. You didn’t come into this world. You came out of it, like a wave from the ocean. You are not a stranger here.” Alan Watts

Claire Cansick embarked last year on a project to record a year of news reports about climate change, weather events and environmental issues. This has resulted in 46 beautifully crafted small paintings covering subjects such as wildfires, floods and hurricanes, all painted using the same four colours.

Claire has collected images from the news for many years and had been making work in this way using photos as a starting point. She decided to work this way for a full year late in 2021, and began work January 1st 2022 using the place, date and source of the photo fro the title of each piece.

Collecting images consists of taking iPhone photos of the tv screen, screenshots from videos on social media both from first hand accounts from the general public and mainstream media channels and scouring news channels and publications worldwide almost every day.

Choosing which to paint from these 1000s of images relied on her reaction, artistic instinct and knowledge of how to construct a painting from her years of experience. Using her usual four colour palette made making the work easier as she is so familiar with it, as well as giving the project a colour coherence.

Patterns soon began to emerge. Three subjects return over and over again; fire, flood and high winds. Some paintings are of the same area suffering in opposite ways; Argentina is depicted swathed in fire, then a few weeks later deep underwater. Paintings of massive wildfires in the USA recur and she caught the summer of fire in Europe last year under record temperatures. An increase in tornados, spreading vegetation in the Arctic as it warms and the war in Ukraine are also depicted. Claire has captured extreme events in far away locations but has also painted images of fire, flood and erosion in East Anglia as it is important to her to represent the effects of climate change in the place she lives.

There is of course melancholia in all the paintings, yet they are also incredibly beautiful, sensitive and have a distinct visual language. The colours are muted and soft, fires painted in curling ripples, swirling smoke fills the sky, stunning reflections cover deluges of flood water. For a moment they seduce, then send you a message, then lure you back in again. Nature in all these destructive states is indeed still beautiful and is demanding our respect.

‘The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.’ Robert Swan, Greenpeace.