Claire Reika Wright Art Combining Traditional and Digital Media

Claire Reika Wright's abstract expressionist art transforms our perceptions of reality. Moving images reflect the prevailing conditions of our world as multi-layered textures replace well worn landscapes; the occasional intrusions of reality provide intriguing insights.

Wright adapted to the potential of digital painting, animation and photo manipulation techniques at a very early stage and has been using these methods since the early nineties. Her background as a traditional painter informs everything she works on; "I like to include hand-drawn or painted shapes and textures in every work I create. It helps to humanise the digital. The human element is an important part of my work as is often intensely personal. For me, art has to be about feelings and emotions as well as commenting on the world around us."

This fundamental attitude is emphasised by the fact that, uniquely, Wright composes the music that accompanies each moving image work thus making the work a totally individual experience.

Apart from her moving image work and the canvases and prints that it inspires, her body of work has included the much sort after 'Rock 'n' Roll' series of paintings and prints, 'The Vividz' series and, more recently, digital mixed media abstract work and the 'Celestial Trees' series. She has also created an eighty minute film 'Vortex' that builds on her 3D interactive work. Wright was short listed for the global Lumen Prize for digital art in 2012 and 2014.

abstract banner image by claire Reika Wright

Claire Reika Wright - An Artist’s Tale

I was born in London right at the end of WW2 and grew up in Croydon, Surrey. Always interested and fascinated by painting I was lucky enough to have a step father who was a graduate of The Slade School of Art and who taught the subject at Royal Russell School. William Wright was an incredibly gifted artist and a sensitive enough teacher to generally leave me to my own devices, show by example and only occasionally exhort me to look and draw what I saw as faithfully as I could! At Whitgift School I was taught in a similar fashion by Henry Maslin and Frank Potter R.A.

From about the age of 18 I realised that all I really wanted to do was paint and from then on every career move I made was secretly geared towards this end. Having discovered, much later on, that my great grandfather and two great uncles had been professional artists I became even more determined.

After a number of eventful years which included getting married, going to Teacher Training College, studying art, working as an office cleaner, taxi driver, gardener, church warden and eventually as an export executive for Eschmann England, a large medical instrument manufacturer, I moved with my young family to Perth, Western Australia in 1974.

I painted whenever I could in the late seventies and eighties whilst still working full time in the hospital supply industry and I held a number of exhibitions of abstract works. Finally in 1994, once my two sons had taken off to follow their dreams as musicians, I took the plunge and committed myself full time to earning a living as professional artist. I have, since then, painted and created moving image art almost continually. I began by painting only landscapes of the rugged Western Australian South West; then for eight years figures of varying degrees of unreality (The Vividz) appeared as the central themes. In between painting abstracts and making hybrid moving image work I have continued with the Vividz theme and am now working on producing a new series.

The stories my paintings tell are enigmatic and are often autobiographical - maybe even the abstracts!!

I returned to live in England in 2001, settling eventually in Banbury, Oxfordshire in 2002. Since then I have held nine very successful solo exhibitions and many group shows in the Home Counties, Wales, London, Athens, Amsterdam, Hong Kong, New York and Munich. I have been long listed twice and short listed in 2012 and 2014 for the international digital fine art competition 'The Lumen Prize'. Ten of my video art pieces are listed by the prestigious digital art website Sedition. My moving image work 'Mammon and the Urban Terrorists' was shortlisted for the Ironstone Art Prize in 2016. In 2018 I was commissioned by New York art platform Meural to make three video works 'Journeys 1, 2 & 3' for showcasing in their contemporary artists collection.

In between exhibitions I have worked as a freelance graphic designer and was exhibition curator at The Mill Arts Centre in Banbury for 5 years. In 2017 due to difficulties with my eyes I decided to retire from full time art work and concentrate on developing my still and moving image and music projects at a more gentle pace amongst the beautiful Dorset countryside in the vibrant town of Bridport.

Claire Reika Wright, Bridport, 2020

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