Claire Bridge, contemporary artist on the Edge of Change

Claire Bridge, contemporary artist on the Edge of Change

 “It’s not that the planet is separate from us. We have a relationship, an interrelationship… and we also have that with ourselves and with each other”
– Claire Bridge

Preview a short documentary HandMade Films made about my art and practice. ‘Claire Bridge – Edge of Change’

Claire Bridge artist video
Claire Bridge, contemporary artist, documentary film preview

Claire Bridge Edge of Change (preview) and extended version here

Below is an adapted transcript with additional comments and notes by the artist.

Inspirations that possess the mind and ideas that play like a back ground music evolve with the imagery. Neither the idea or image is set in concrete. Both evolve in relationship to one another.

“It’s not that the planet is separate from us. We have a relationship, an interrelationship… and we also have that with ourselves and with each other”

Climate change is such an important issue for all of us. When I was working specifically on the theme of Climate Change and I love working with the figure, I also brought in the elements. Especially water. In “A Terrible Beauty” I was painting floods and rising tides at the time of a 10 year drought in Australia. During the weeks when my show was hanging, the 10 year Australian drought broke, the rains came and QLD experienced devastating floods, the likes which had not been witnessed before.

The paintings were speaking directly to my concerns about climate change and global warming, rising oceans, floods, the impact on population migration and the increasing scarcity of fresh water, drought and earthquakes.

There is often symbolism on my work. In this case it was birds. It was about noticing the small changes, the things that are dropping away, becoming extinct. In “A Terrible Beauty” these birds were all Australian natives and I was inspired to include them after becoming aware of the statistics.

I included birds for both their symbolic qualities of flight, freedom and hope and for the very real and current crisis that our native birds are facing mass extinctions, according to studies by Ralph Mac Nally, Andrew F. Bennett , James R. Thomson, James Q. Radford, Gregory Horrocks , Peter A. Vesk in their article “Collapse of an avifauna: climate change appears to exacerbate habitat loss and degradation”, Diversity and Distributions, Volume 15, Issue 4, <> pages 720–730, July 2009.

Climate change is impacting our bird populations such that our not only previously threatened birds but also our ordinary birds are disappearing. In a single woodland area studied when the first 2 years of the study were compared with the last 2 years, they observed a decline in bird populations of over 150,000 birds and virtually no bird breeding in the final year.

My intention has been to point to the small changes alongside the big changes and bring it back to the personal, which is where the figure really comes in.

Often my work has a sense of self exploration. I am interested in how we are as human beings and how we see ourselves and relate to our world. “It’s about the relationship you have with yourself and also the relationship you have with other people and how that relationship reflects in how we treat the planet”.

The short film preview above features work for my exhibition “Air Born”. Air Born is a play on words alluding to being like something that is carried on air, the way we float, our desire and aspirations to fly, the way our imaginations can soar. Air Born is also “being born out of thin air”, appearing magically.

There are so many inspirations and often it is just a matter of listening for the one that is calling loudest.

Claire Bridge, Uplift 2014
Claire Bridge, Uplift 2014, oil on linen, 96.5 x 77 cm


I’m really fascinated at the moment with levitation and flight. Through the figure, the female and the male figure, in pairs and in groups I am looking for ways to explore our relationship with ourselves and with our world.

Air Born also points to our relationship with the element Air itself. This invisible force made visible through levitating figures. We take notice, air matters, literally as it appears more dense through its power to uphold what we assume are heavy human bodies, made light as a feather. Air Born invites us to reflect on the air we breathe. Our breath is a doorway to greater consciousness. Air Born asks us to consider how we relate to Air, to this substance we are absolutely dependent upon to sustain us and yet is most vulnerable in these times of global warming and climate change. Not through painting the vision of devastation, rather through focussing our attention on Air itself and inviting us to stretch the imagination as to the possibilities!

I am thrilled that the exhibition is being opened by one of Australia’s foremost arts writers: Sharne Wolff

View the exhibition  Air Born

see more work here at Claire Bridge

Thanks to Peter Lamont for crafting a wonderful film.



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