UNCOMFORTABLE, CONFINING AND AWKWARD STRUCTURES SEEM TO CONTAIN US. WE ARE PRETTY MUCH AT THE MERCY OF A CONTROLLED WORKING ENVIRONMENT. THIS IS WHAT MY WORK IS CONNECTING WITH, BUT ON SOCIAL & PATAPHYSICAL LEVEL.
In his PHOTOMONTAGE, Upside-down planes, empty townscapes, imposing structures that threaten our space, disfigured Hollywood icons, deconstructed insects: flies, bees, moths and butterflies all make up Clay Smiths images that please and make unease the conditions of our own relatively secure environments.
Clay’s PAINTINGS & mark-making pieces are process driven action paintings that allows the artist total freedom to create and express within non studio environments. They are small and large scale pieces, using natural & synthetic dyes, created in woodlands, abandoned warehouses etc.
“I tend to use images that have some emptiness within them, only to place or misplace another image within it. I like the connection of how two or three different images can work and adjust themselves when placed within the same frame. I guess this all comes from my thoughts about society on a socio-dynamic level, from investigating tribalism within our multicultural environments to thinking about the vibrational energy our thoughts give off, that in turn effect everything else. I want to take my work further than a mere metaphor or a simple representation of the surrounding world.”
Clays work tends not to have any edges, in that I mean the work has no left or right, top or bottom. He turns and flips the original images around, making the images merge and interact with each other. There is some kind of force at play here, how Clay introduces the imagery within the same frame. Planes floating upside down above the ground of empty deserted townscapes (Inverted Space – Demagogic Device. 2015) that reflects some sort of dystopian idea about control. A portrait of a black man (Black God, White Devil. 2015), a diptych that reveals the torn, ripped and pulled flesh of his insides. A metaphor perhaps of his history, of all humanity, white, black male or female. Or his piece titled ‘Hedonic Nothing’ (2015) that depicts an upturned chandelier infront of an enormous mountain of streams and tracks that juxtaposes the idea of wealth and accomplishment.
Clay Smith works on both small and large scale work. Exhibiting in the UK and Internationally. Having in recent years exhibited in South Korea, and in January 2018 will be showing his Dystopian pieces in Athens at the Enia Gallery. He has collectors in Korea, UK and Germany.
HE IS CURRENTLY PREPARING FOR HIS JORDAN RESIDENCY. Here he will collaborate with Jordanian artists as well making his own works using natural dyes.