Clare Iles works on the periphery, physically and intellectually. She has undertaken projects with riverboat communities and rural villagers in the UK, working in marginalised sites intended for regeneration and development. Concerned with the reality of everyday life, she is preoccupied by the rituals of daily existence, and in particular the places in which these occur: we sleep in our bedrooms, wash in our bathrooms, eat in our kitchens, travel to work and return home at the end of the day to clean, tidy, relax and, in a way, become the domestic spaces we occupy. Nomadic sensibilities are central to Iles’ understanding of domestic life: a home moves, develops and reconfigures with its inhabitant. Home, owner and place can be seen as a whole.
Such principles inform the artist’s sculptures, which themselves have increasingly become homes for her. To explore the concept of ‘ritual within structure’ Iles makes constructions that develop over time to accommodate her habits and behaviours.
Living with the work as she makes them, Iles’ uses reclaimed wood, abandoned furniture and material scraps to construct the spaces, gradually becoming products of their environments – vibrant assortments of colours and textures that sit comfortably in their surroundings as they seemingly grow from them.
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Selection of Cabins / Structures work
‘Home’, Artist in Residence, part of Residue Exhibition, Firstsite at the Minories Art Gallery, 2006
‘Our Lady of the Land’ [quoting Chrissie, a local resident], Firstsite & ECC Residency, Jaywick, 2008
‘Home’ and Jaywick Photos by Douglas Atfield