Claire Harkess was born in Ayr, Scotland, graduating from Glasgow School of Art in the early 1990s. In recent years her painting has taken her to fragile lands to study and interpret life on the edge. Antarctica, Outback Australia and St Kilda are all places where, in such extreme environments, survival is difficult and the balance of life is delicate. Six hundred miles due west of Ecuador surrounded by the Pacific Ocean lie the Galápagos Islands, made famous by Charles Darwin’s ‘The Origin of the Species’. This isolated volcanic outpost remained relatively untouched by man, evolving to become one of the World’s unique ecosystems. The balance present in nature is clearly communicated through the paintings. Painting in watercolour offers a unique directness; the essential qualities of light and energy present in the natural world are the very essence of the medium itself. The delicacy of her palette and oriental economy of her mark-making creates a subtle tension representing a world that is ‘holding still’, giving a sense of freedom, spirit, time and place. Claire exhibited at The Scottish Gallery in April 2018, exploring the idea of A Wilder Place. In July 2020 Claire presented an exhibition Into the Wild, featuring works created in the Arctic Circle and rewilding centres in Scotland.

Claire's next major exhibition of new work will take place in March 2022.

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