Clare Galloway grew up in a tiny village on an island in Scotland. She chose a creative path early on, because she “knew it’d be the only way I could think my own thoughts and learn what I wanted to learn.” Clare’s colourful career has seen her setting up a studio-gallery-residential space in various countries and unusual locations. In 2011 Clare found an incredible abode in an abandoned medieval quarter in Italy, where she started her Arthouse Project -and a vibrant international community!
Carrie: Welcome to Artist Strong Clare! How would you describe your art to Artist Strong readers?
I chose the path of an artist in order to be completely free- to allow me to manifest creative power in its purest form, and to achieve my potential as a person who can transform the world creatively. I work with paint, write, speak out politically, and am involved in creating a new community. I’m interested in how we can create dialogues within ourselves, to grow, learn, expand our consciousness. Am also interested in how we bring about world change, through changing our selves.
Carrie: How did you discover your interest in the arts?
Through my close relationship with nature from an early age, and through my serious distrust of the education system from not long after. I knew that in order to be free, and to not have to follow the restricting ideas of the majority, I’d have to be a fine artist!
Carrie: If you had to choose 3 words to describe your art, what would they be?
Intuitive, spiritual, authentic.
Carrie: Can you describe the evolution of your artistic style? (Have you always made art with this unique vision or what was your turning point into recognizing this style was your authentic “you”?)
My figurative work style began with a cathartic phase of primal-mark-making, which helped me to develop the confidence to express sincerely what was inside of me. It seems to have always flowed easily from within, to out-with, and over the years I’ve slowly allowed my ideas to alchemise and take form in reality.
Carrie: How do you take risk in your art?
By baring all. By being completely transparent in what I feel, see, do: this, to me, seems to be the only way to approach my art.
Carrie: What are important strategies or choices you make that help support your creative process?
I spent many many years trying to find the ‘right’ place to settle and be fully myself- eventually I realised that to really flourish, I’d need a physical container for my creative outpourings, and so after some searching, adventure and challenge, I found this house in a medieval quarter, and began working magic. My ‘strategy’ if there ever was one, was to hold a vision in my mind, write about it, focus on it, and bring it into being by simply believing in it.
Carrie: How do you think vulnerability affects artists/creatives?
I know that vulnerability is an inherent aspect of being creative: without acceptance, without completely embracing our vulnerability, really, we cannot truly be committed to our art.
Carrie: How do your interests outside of art fuel your artwork?
I use all sorts of other interests to expand my creative presence- and to connect with my audience: I love to always be learning, to be exploring new areas, and expanding on my own skills and passions. My writing helps me to understand what is going on in my artwork, and to find my place in the world, politically, spiritually, emotionally, etc.
The arthouse (which is currently in Guardia Sanframondi, Italy) is a magical container of creative outpourings- it is a safe, nourishing place, which I felt was essential to my growing my energy and positive influence in the world. I felt that I needed a base, and that it had to be in a very special place. The abandoned medieval quarter came into my life in a marvellously chaotic manner; as soon as I stepped into the place, a series of events led to my buying a house, which subsequently led to me developing this events space, and a B&B, and growing this atmospheric place to inspire others to come and engage with their creative power.
Carrie: Who/what inspires you?
All good things, kindness, openness, transparency, enthusiasm, people who are willing to make ‘mistakes’ (if such a thing as a ‘mistake’ even exists!) in order to learn and grow, child-like innocence, honesty.
Carrie: How do you define Creativity?
The ability to see positive choice in every waking moment: to act lucidly in this life, in all areas, and to inspire others to similarly be fulfilled, awake. I would also define creativity by what it isn’t; the numb repetition and false perception of freedom which is prevalent in contemporary consumer culture. Creativity is almost always rooted in connection with nature, in all her forms and dimensions. 🙂
BE COURAGEOUSLY CREATIVE: How do you embrace your vulnerability to connect with your art? Tell me about it in the comments below, I want to know!