There are lots of things that I love about working at the MCA, but chief amongst them is the fact that so many of my friends and colleagues are also practicing artists with formidable skills and deeply thoughtful ways of seeing the world. So I was pretty ecstatic to have the opportunity to write a new biography for painter Clare Thackway recently. These kinds of texts are always a collaborative effort so thank you Clare for trusting me to write this!
You can also see Clare’s work as part of the 2018 Portia Geach Memorial Award at S.H. Ervin Gallery until 2 December 2018.
Clare Thackway is interested in the ways we perform and move our bodies through spaces both literal and emotional. In her finely wrought portraits and figurative paintings, the body becomes a language through which she contemplates moments of universal human experience, from the emotional to the societal.
Thackway brings a fascination with psychological theories to her figures, considering the ways in which the psyche and memory affect the ways in which we hold ourselves. Her current body of work investigates ideas of performance and the role of costume and drapery in mediating movement.
Thackway’s practice has been informed by her experience as a scenic painter and her interest in human relationships, and the ways in which we affect each other, has also been shaped by her work as an artist educator.
As a scenic painter, Thackway worked for Opera Australia from 2008 to 2010, and for film and events in both Sydney and Berlin. As an artist educator, she has worked on contemporary art education and public programs with a specific focus on working with people with dementia and their families; people with lived experience of mental health; and all ages with disability and access requirements. She has undertaken program development, co-ordination and facilitation for organisations including Wollongong Art Gallery, Casula Powerhouse, Australian National University and Alzheimer’s Australia National. Since 2016 she has been an Artist Educator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia and in 2017 worked as the MCA’s Art and Dementia Program Coordinator.
Winner of the 2009 Marten Bequest Travelling Scholarship, Thackway is also a five-times finalist in the prestigious Portia Geach Memorial Award, most recently in 2018 and Highly Commended in 2017. She has also been a finalist in the Helen Lempriere Travelling Scholarship, the Blake Prize for Religious Art and, in 2018, both the Sir John Sulman Prize at the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize.
Thackway holds a Bachelor of Arts – Visual Painting from the Australian National University and in 2006 she graduated from the National Art School Sydney with Honours in Fine Art Painting. She has held solo exhibitions and group exhibitions at galleries including Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, Wollongong Art Gallery, Wellington Street Projects, Firstdraft, Canberra Contemporary Art Space, New England Regional Art Museum and ANU School of Art, Canberra, amongst others.
- Nov 23, 2018 Artist texts: Clare Thackway Nov 23, 2018
- Oct 29, 2018 Announcement of Churchill Fellowship 2018 Oct 29, 2018
- Sep 30, 2018 Frida Kahlo at the Victoria & Albert Museum Sep 30, 2018
- Sep 7, 2018 Elizabeth Willing profile for Art Collector magazine Sep 7, 2018
- Aug 2, 2018 Beyond Community Engagement: Transforming Dialogues in Art, Education and the Cultural Sphere Aug 2, 2018
- Jul 26, 2017 Te Tuhi Talks Jul 26, 2017
- Apr 2, 2017 New role: Museum of Contemporary Art Australia Apr 2, 2017
- Jan 19, 2017 Louise Paramor profile for Art Collector magazine, issue 78 Jan 19, 2017
- Dec 1, 2016 Craft Council UK – Make:Shift conference, Manchester, 10-11 Nov, 2016 Dec 1, 2016
- Oct 30, 2016 Alison Croggon on the arts funding crisis and the importance of criticism Oct 30, 2016
- Apr 27, 2016 Lottie Consalvo: mid-fall, Alaska Projects Apr 27, 2016
- Mar 18, 2016 20th Biennale of Sydney: The future is here it's just not evenly distributed Mar 18, 2016
- Nov 22, 2015 Celeste Boursier-Mougenot at the NGV Nov 22, 2015
- Sep 22, 2015 Educating People Like Us Sep 22, 2015
- Aug 2, 2015 What It Means to be Me, Western Plains Cultural Centre, Dubbo, 26 July 2015 Aug 2, 2015
- Jul 12, 2015 More Marina Magic Jul 12, 2015
- Jul 12, 2015 Art Collector cover story Jul 12, 2015
- Jun 25, 2015 Lessons learnt: Kaldor regional progress report Jun 25, 2015
- May 5, 2015 Kaldor pilots regional engagement project May 5, 2015
- Aug 21, 2014 Melbourne Art Fair 2014 Aug 21, 2014
- Jun 24, 2014 Fresh Faces Symposium: Art Gallery of New South Wales Jun 24, 2014
- May 24, 2014 REVIEW: Sleepers Awake, MCA C3West Project, Bungaribee May 24, 2014
- Feb 20, 2014 Kevin Chin profile for Art Collector magazine Feb 20, 2014
- Feb 9, 2014 Artlink review: 21st Century Portraits Feb 9, 2014
- Jan 12, 2014 REVIEW: Christian Boltanski, Chance, Carriageworks Jan 12, 2014
- Sep 20, 2013 The problem with 'Australia' Sep 20, 2013
- Sep 4, 2013 Margate: An away day and a visit to Turner Contemporary Sep 4, 2013
- Jul 28, 2013 A round-up: Miles Aldridge, Somerset House; Katharina Fritsch, Fourth Plinth, Trafalgar Square; Michael Landy, ‘Saints Alive’, National Gallery Jul 28, 2013
- Jul 21, 2013 Peckham weekends Jul 21, 2013
- Jul 11, 2013 Harpa Concert Hall, Reykjavik Jul 11, 2013
- Jun 4, 2013 St Paul-de-Vence Jun 4, 2013
- May 30, 2013 A visit to Paul Cezanne's studio May 30, 2013
- Oct 30, 2012 REVIEW: dOCUMENTA 13, Kassel, Germany Oct 30, 2012
- Oct 28, 2012 Tino Sehgal, These Associations, Tate Modern, London Oct 28, 2012
- Aug 4, 2012 Jeremy Deller, Sacrilege, Burgess Park, London Aug 4, 2012
- Apr 14, 2012 REVIEW: Martin Creed, Sketch Nightclub, London Apr 14, 2012
- Jul 19, 2010 Christian Boltanski, Les archives du coeur, Serpentine Gallery, London Jul 19, 2010
- Jul 9, 2010 REVIEW: 1:1 Architects Build Small Spaces, Victoria & Albert Museum, London Jul 9, 2010
- Jul 5, 2010 REVIEW: EXPOSED: Voyeurism, Surveillance & the Camera, Tate Modern, London Jul 5, 2010
- Jun 21, 2010 REVIEW: Sean Scully New Work, Timothy Taylor Gallery, London Jun 21, 2010
- Jun 14, 2010 Yinka Shonibare MBE, “Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle”, Fourth Plinth, Trafalgar Square Jun 14, 2010
- May 20, 2010 REVIEW: Céleste Boursier-Mougenot, Barbican Centre, London May 20, 2010
- May 16, 2010 REVIEW: Decode: Digital Design Sensation, Victoria & Albert Museum, London May 16, 2010
- May 9, 2010 REVIEW: Olafur Eliasson: Take Your Time, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney May 9, 2010
- Sep 17, 2008 REVIEW: Suzanne Treister, ALCHEMY, Annely Juda Fine Art Sep 17, 2008