Meet the artist

Self portrait, Clare Barber

I’m not someone who’s ever felt comfortable being a part of the mainstream, and in my work I’m always looking for the things that stand out or don’t ‘fit in’.

This impulse to go against the grain has led me to explore the tension between industrial architecture and the natural environment;

to find the beautiful amongst the brutal.

Born in Manchester, I grew up surrounded by this urban infrastructure, places where people had grafted for a living for generations. Now living and working in Inverness in the heart of the Scottish Highlands, signs of such juxtaposition are abundant.

Land and life here have a deep, dramatic history.

I look to combine the historical and contemporary lives of the subject, whether that’s an oil rig, whisky distillery or isolated cottage, and the impact of lives and time on these environments.

My art is characterised by tension. ‘Process informs outcome’ my mantra, which inform the subjects of my work, and my methods too. I combine traditional pen and ink with digital drawing to achieve a layering of print and ink. The digital medium (in principle all too) easy to make things ‘perfect’, so say the naysayers. I use digital and liquid ink drawing in mixed media, why? Because I enjoy the contemporary mix of media and the creativity that springs from their quirky and ‘outsider art’ relationship. 


I’m a great believer that the work should evolve with the mistakes and surprises that form through process experimentation, and  that it’s the elements you didn’t expect that take you somewhere new and, ultimately the direction of outcome.