Bringing the outside in: botanical artwork by Clare Halifax

Meet Clare Halifax – a London-based botanical artist who recently exhibited with Cambridge Contemporary Art. I spotted  Clare’s work and was instantly intrigued to learn about her influences and upcoming projects

Stylistically my work is considered illustrative, incorporating intense detail of drawing.
Often the word ‘intricate’ is used to describe the end result of the subject depicted and the drawing process used. Over the years I have developed my work into more challenging, larger-scale architectural settings and dense botanical settings, while recently including more elements of colour as I became more confident as a printmaker.

Victoria_Huset – © Clare Halifax

I’ve always had a great love of nature, finding it has a relaxing property.
My initial botanical pieces were created as a work reset after I completed a series of complicated architectural pieces; I wanted to do something lighter. I’d recently visited the Barbican Centre Conservatory in London – a beautiful tropical oasis in the middle of the city – and found it inspiring to see the elements of nature juxtaposed against the brutal architecture. This led to my first botanical series.

I have a fondness for the monstera deliciosa
it is very satisfying to draw and the leaf shapes are so unique and instantly identifiable. But nature comes in many forms and plants are all enjoyable to interpret, from the houseplant, to those in a garden bed or in a palm house.

Hot Mass of Cacti – © Clare Halifax

A recent Cambridge exhibition focused on my botanical work.
Nathalie Staples from Cambridge Contemporary Art curated a beautiful window display that celebrated nature through the use of my work, hanging amongst houseplants and ceramics. It was a wonderful antidote to all that has been happening.

I found alternative ways of working from home throughout the first lockdown.
I was able to develop my drawings into an original series of studies of the houseplants in my home. In general, I gravitated towards drawing nature scenes as this felt more inspirational to me and, living in a flat in London with no outdoor space, I became focused on bringing the outside in through my work.

On the negative side of lockdown, my concentration levels came and went.
As was likely the case for so many of us, I was not as productive as I initially set out to be with all the time we suddenly had on our hands.

Fish ‘n’ Waterlily – © Clare Halifax

I am participating in the Art Car Boot Fair this month, with Smithson Gallery.
The theme is ‘Flora and Fauna’. I think many people have realised how restorative nature can be, and it definitely seems to be the mood of the moment.

One thing few people know about me…?
I can sign the alphabet!

Catch the Art Car Boot Fair from 15-17 May. Learn more about Clare’s wonderful work via her website

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