Residency : Rainoir Clark - April, 2012



The first thing you see as you enter the Connect workshops is a desk full of books, images and collages of people and buildings. This is where artist Rainoir Clark has spent the last month, experimenting and pushing her practice further.

Rainoir has been a familiar face in Connect since last October, and was chosen to design and make the Glasgow Inter School Poetry Slam award, which she recently completed: a beautiful hand moulded Perspex piece with vinyl lettering. This is what brought her to this residency: “Initially I came here one day a week and immediately felt very comfortable. Celine and John [Connect manager and tutor] asked if I could design the poetry award, and after that I wanted to maybe try volunteering here and continue being involved. That’s when they mentioned the residency. I applied and here I am.”

Rainoir's initial idea for the residency was to develop a series of works in Perspex. Though she still intends to create her Perspex piece, she has spent an intensive period of her residency creating photo-collages that reference the psychology of architectural space and its implications on the people moving within it. “I am looking at the metropolis and its monotony, everybody passing by. I like the idea of people being driven like puppets, being controlled, slaves to the wage... I started experimenting with this puppet idea, using an artist mannequin, but it felt too rigid, it wasn’t working for me. I came to a brick wall, looked back at my journey here and at how I felt.” This is when she started to experiment with other people’s images, collecting aspects of photos and building them together to create a bigger picture. “I used another artist’s screen-prints, which were strong no-nonsense images of industrial machine age, and mixed them with cut outs from magazines. I am very interested in the difference of depths and textures, the idea of an image in three stages...It drove me to research stock photos of different buildings, mixing images of New York and Glasgow. The last few days I have started to take my own photographs, rather than using found images, mimicking imagery I saw in New York. It’s all about the architecture and the lines. “

Rainoir clearly used this residency to push herself creatively, experimenting outside of her box and exploring new techniques. “It was a bit strange at the beginning, just the idea of being in a residency. I didn’t really have any expectations, I just loved being here from the start, it felt like a very healthy environment for me to grow in. Now I am beginning to develop a style that I like, and I want to take it further. I was thinking about 3D, working with light and shadows... I don’t know if I’ll carry on with this idea, I am still exploring at the moment. I am back in the momentum of creating!”

Was the residency a positive experience then? “I loved it! I’m beginning to make more sense of my own mind” she laughs. And on those words, she goes back to her beautiful and striking collages.

Rainoir Clark’s work will be exhibited in the Project Ability Gallery in January 2013 alongside the other artists participating in our residency programme 2012.