Clare Smith

Artist statement

Clare Smith

Clare works from a studio in Dover. She has an MA in Fine Art from Central Saint Martins and has exhibited nationally and internationally.

Most recently she was included in the Drawing Room’s Drawing Biennial 2021.

Born in Penang, Malaysia and educated in England. She studied Oriental studies in Cambridge before spending 15 years in Luxembourg, returning to England in 1999 to study art as a mature student in Canterbury Kent and realise a long-held dream of making a life in the arts.

Her mixed English/Chinese heritage informs her perspective on issues of identity and categorisation and her choice of materials. Her nomadic childhood and early adulthood have meant a somewhat ambivalent relationship to place, reinforced by the sense of ambiguity that comes from her mixed identity. Smith works across genres in drawing, print media, collage and moving image. Her recent work reflects a growing interest in place and memory, the marking of time and a stronger focus on the autobiographical. There is a delicacy and fragility to some of Smith’s work, which reflects a constant sense of the precariousness of physical existence and a concern with healing.



Collaboration is part of Smith’s practice and she is co-founder of Dover Arts Development (DAD) together with painter, Joanna Jones. This involves working with many different artists, curation, organisation, event management, creating networks across East Kent and influencing the public realm in Dover.

  • 2022: Out of Boredom (Wellcome Trust Commission of Wellcome Collection Story)
  • 2020: 18 Chemo day drawings (Seven Hills Gallery, Sheffield Northern General Hospital)
  • 2020: Juxtaposed (The Open Dresser Gallery, Sevenoaks)
  • 2020: Hug those you love (Brew Folkestone)
  • 2019: Beachtime stories, 100 ink drawings (The Line Gallery, The Margate School, November)
  • 2018 – 2019: Art in the Park: Kearsney Interpreted (Moving Image commission by Dover District Council, completed in March 2019, DAD project) (Dover Silver Screen Cinema)
  • 2017: Involved in Woods to Where Else with lead artist Mavernie Cunningham (Stour Valley Creative Partnership project); presentation at Woods to where else symposium, UCA Canterbury, January 2018
  • 2017: Encountering Place, film and monotypes (residency at Wealden Literary Festival 2017, Woodchurch)
  • 2017: Paper presented at Drawing Conversations 2, Coventry University in December
  • 2015:Stitched Time (Folkestone, part of WOW Folkestone 2015)
  • 2014: Stitched Time (ACE funded project exploring collective making, work and performance, with an exhibition at Limbo, Margate)
  • 2013: Transparency, with Korinna McRobert, (Leytonstone Arts Trail)
  • 2012: In the Making (Space Gallery, Folkestone)
  • 2012: The Voyagers (a response to Dover’s Bronze Age Boat, Dover Museum) (DAD project, War & Peace)
  • 2012: Series of photos (printed as posters) (former Centurion House Box Gallery, Dover) (DAD project, Bunting Forever)
  • 2020: Contributed to Walking in the Pandemic, an interactive documentary orchestrated by Andrew Martyn Sugars
  • 2019: Joanna Jones, Helen Lindon & Clare Smith: 3 Films (Quarterhouse Folkestone, SALT 2019) with discussion led by Jen Thatcher
  • 2019: Moon Talk, 30 mins, Joanna Jones, Helen Lindon & Clare Smith, made for SALT 2019
  • 2018: No Horizon, 30 mins, with Joanna Jones and Helen Lindon, made for SALT 2016, Folkestone (Lindon Studio)
  • 2016: A Parable for Endeavour, 40 mins, with Joanna Jones and Helen Lindon, made for SALT 2016, Folkestone
  • 2015: A Table of Elements with Helen Lindon and Joanna Jones (SALT Festival, Folkestone, Lindon Studio)
  • 2012: White Happy Hour with Joanna Jones and Alma Tischler Wood (London Biennale 2012)
  • 2008: Dover’s Moveable Feast co-curated with Joanna Jones and Alma Tischler Wood; day for artists to eat and perform (London Biennale 2008)
  • 2007: One day Museum of Arrows and Archery co-curated with Joanna Jones (London Biennale Dover Pollinations)
  • 2022: SFSA Drawing Open 2022
  • 2021: Drawing Biennial (Drawing Room London)
  • 2020: Out of Isolation (UCA galleries, (UCS Canterbury campus))
  • 2019: Derek’s Room (Studio 3 Gallery, University of Kent)
  • 2019: Fronteer Open 2019 (35 Chapel Walk Gallery, Sheffield)
  • 2019: Perfume as Practice AW2019 (curated by Michael Borkowsky, Centrespace Gallery, Bristol)
  • 2019: Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize
  • 2019: Short Films by artists (curated by Alma Tischler Wood, hosted by I wanna Be Me I wanna Be – E You as part of Lewisham Arthouse and Open House)
  • 2019: Past and Present Tense (curated by Hanna ten Doornkaat, White Noise Projects, The Crypt Gallery, London)
  • 2019: Arts of Rebellion, Acts of Liberation (programmed for Women Rising, International Women’s Day, Folkestone)
  • 2019: Strangelove Timebased Media Festival (curated by Philippa Wall and Luke Jones, Work shown at The Photographers Gallery, London on 23rd February, 3.30-5pm, Turner Contemporary, Margate on 2nd March, 10am-1.30pm Fabrica, Brighton on 14th March, 7pm-9pm Hop Projects CT20, Folkestone 24th March, 11am-12pm.)
  • 2018: Lawn and Meadow (curated by Mel Evans, Participate Contemporary Art Space, Shrewsbury)
  • 2018: Selfscapes (Dalby Forest, North Yorkshire)
  • 2019: SFSA Drawing Open, (No Format Gallery, Deptford)
  • 2018: Reflections on Landscape: Against the tide (curated by Joseph Black and Louise Webb, River Garage studios, Dover)
  • 2018: Recollective (curated by Karen Pamplin Browne, Brew Folkestone)
  • 2017: BRINK (curated by Karen Pamplin Browne, Brew Folkestone)
  • 2016: Outside the Lines (curated by Karen Pamplin Browne, Brew Folkestone)
  • 2016: Sugar and Spice (curated by Plastic Propaganda, Devon House, St Katherine Docks)
  • 2016: Nautical Perspectives (curated by Plastic Propaganda, Devon House, St Katherine Docks)
  • 2015: Drawn Conversations, (ICE, Coventry School of Art and Design, curated by Jill Journeaux and Helen Gorrill as part of the symposium Drawing Conversations)
  • 2015: Deep East Winter exhibition (The Mayor’s Parlour Gallery, London)
  • 2014: Print Informs (The Mayor’s Parlour Gallery, London)
  • 2014: Fabrika (Pop Up Shop, Chatham)
  • 2014: A Fine Line (Kaleidoscope Gallery, Sevenoaks)
  • 2014: Wobudong (Three Picadilly Place, Manchester, curated by Jayne Lloyd)
  • 2013: RiTUAL. Book Show (110 CHURCH gallery, Philadelphia, USA)
  • 2013: 20 Squared (TS1 Gallery, Middlesborough)
  • 2013: Come As You Go (Crate Space, Margate)
  • 2012: Meeting Room (Kaleidoscope Gallery, Sevenoaks)
  • 2012: Leytonstone Arts Trail (Norlington Road Studios, Leytonstone)
  • 2012: FAB 2012 (Stall Street, Bath)
  • 2012: Inclusions (The Stone Space, Leytonstone)
  • 2011: Beta, (Kaleidoscope Gallery, Sevenoaks)
  • 2018: Printmaking workshop, Temple Ewell CEP
  • 2007 – 2010: Artist advisor: (Dada South Exchange programme), advising and mentoring deaf and disabled artists in the South East
  • 2011: MA Fine Art, Central St Martins, London
  • 2004: BA Fine Art, Kent Institute of Art and Design
  • 1982: BA Hons Oriental Studies, Kings College, Cambridge

“Your work is so beautiful and sensitive”

Lucy Medhurst.

You are turning life’s experiences into art

Mike Tonkin