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Clare Walton - About

Clare Walton is a multi-disciplinary artist based in NSW who works in the community and public art sector.  Her work examines the interconnectedness of community using processes that are accessible and supportive of collaboration.  Drawing on traditional art processes including drawing, painting, photography, installation, videography and non-traditional tools including measured risky play her collaborative projects invite participants to enter a process that excites, questions what could be and celebrates their community.  Clare works with schools, festivals, councils, corporations and community organisations to produce participatory works that share and amplify the collective voice.

A key focus in her current work is in supporting children and young people’s engagement as active citizens and social agents of change in their community. Using measured risky play as the primary tool her collaborators are invited to design and build their own installations, create festivals that celebrate who they are and engage in creating memorable participatory experiences that highlight the capacity children and young people have to re-imagine and create a better community.  As the artistic producer and lead artist of the Ultimate Pop Up Junkyard Playground at Siteworks 2016 Clare invited children and young people to engage in the design and creation of their world within that of the adult world.  An interactive public performance it invited the audience to sit back and watch the site unfold as the young artists designed and built a world of their imagining.

This project has since been further developed and produced at Cloverdale Community Centre in 2019 and re-imagined as an artist in resident program supporting children at risk of disengaging from education to re-engage with education and their community.  Further project highlights include the NYHC Older Person High Rise Kitchen Garden Mural Program 2013, “Our Cubby Project” 2015, Fitzroy Adventure Playground and the "Living Entity" public art project with indigenous artist Billy Jay O'Tool and creative producer Maxine Bazalay for the Surf Coast Shire Councils first public arts commission in 2019.  Her numerous artist in resident projects include the Yirrkala CEC School, North Eastern Arnhem Land 2012, Fern Court Primary School, Marrickville, Sydney 2013 and Overnewton Anglican Community College, Keilor, 2015.   In 2020 Clare was commissioned as a member of the Urban Badland Collective for Geelong After Dark and in collaboration with the Urban Badland Collective has produced a series of participatory pop up art events including “Let’s Take Over Labuan Square” 2019 and Northside Get your Groove On” 2019.  

In 2021 Clare was one of 150 artists employed by Regional Arts Victoria as part of their Creative Learning Program in Schools, and spent 6 months as an artist in resident at Skipton Primary School in regional Victoria.  In 2022 Clare relocated back to NSW and undertook her first artist in resident contract with the Sydney Opera House, working with a small NSW regional primary school. 

Clare has also exhibited in a number of group and solo exhibitions displaying her installation and photography work; Solo shows include "Risking It", 2022, The SHAC, Robertson, Kid's Urban Dreaming, 2019, The Court House, Geelong, Hidden Beauty” 2013, Space 32, South Yarra, “Faces of Yirrkala” 2012, VU Foyer Gallery, Melbourne "Invite Me to Play" (continued) 2016, PS50, Carlton.  Group shows, “Come As You Are”, 2014 and "GoodDay, GoodBye, 2016 at The Food Court Artists Space in Docklands and “Civic Heart” 2015, Broadmeadows Town Hall.  

Originally trained in fashion design and millinery at East Sydney Technical College, Clare began her training in the arts by completing her Diploma in Visual Arts at VU in 2012 and in 2016 completed her Masters in Public Art at RMIT and completed her PhD by Practice, at the University of Melbourne in 2023. Her PhD examined how adventure play as an art tool can support the development of children's active citizenship, re-engage them with their education and break down their social barriers inside a traditional school.

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