Bare Life, Clementine Mcgaw

3 Feb 2012 – 25 Feb 2012

Regular hours

10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00

Save Event: Bare Life, Clementine Mcgaw1

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Bare Life


Clementine McGaw was born in London in 1988, where she continues to live and work. She trained at Central St. Martins, graduating in 2010 with a BA in Fine Art. In 2010, she won the award for 'Best Emerging Fine Artist' as awarded by Saatchi & Saatchi. This series of paintings explores the reality of the human body and its suffering, voicing the artist's preoccupation with the human impulse to exert our own dominance over ‘life'. ”¨McGaw's work draws on many influences — visual and otherwise. Though moved by the human suffering inherent in all conflict, McGaw is particularly inspired by the work of Italian philosopher Georgio Agamben, and his theories on what he terms ‘bare life'. For Agamben, this is a form of human existence exiled from the protection of the law, where a person is forced to live as a mere body rather than as a politically entitled citizen. Each of McGaw's isolated figures are an attempt to express this state and evoke a sense of the accompanying emptiness and deprivation. Beginning from photographs, McGaw feels that this gives her the very best opportunity to truly study the human form. Working then in oil paints, she uses the paint as a new language — translating the image and allowing her to record a new interpretation of her subject. In utilising the language of paint in this way, McGaw believes she can re-humanise her subjects within these new, transformed works. Expressing the universality of suffering, McGaw's paintings almost never include the human portrait. Faceless and nameless, her figures relate to the viewer on the most intimate level. McGaw a cites a strong connection to the work of Francis Bacon, having an ongoing captivation with his efforts to paint the definitive human cry. As with Bacon, McGaw tries devotedly and painstakingly to paint the true essence of human suffering - as an emotion rather than a narrative.

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