Clare Kenny works with a variety of materials – such as found objects, building materials, plaster, ceramic, fabric, glass, neon, plexi and spraypaint – yet her work almost always originates in photography, sometimes simply the idea of the photograph. Informed by personal viewpoints and experiences, especially her upbringing and family history, Kenny often toys with notions that relate heavily on a wider level to many people’s lives, where shared histories is a recurring theme throughout Kenny’s practice.
Aspirations of the working class and their determination to better themselves is something Kenny often references within her own work. In ‘enough rope to hang ‘emselves’ neon washing lines are erected with a series of bronze and marbleised sculptural elements as hooks and hoops, replicating the washing lines strung across gardens, ginnels or other available spaces. Her ongoing series of cast plaster works, makes use of domestic buckets, bins or cake tins as moulds. Paint pigment is poured into the plaster to create a mock marbleised finish to the surface of the cast sculptures, which are then stacked or hung.
Addressing personal affiliations with Northern England is inherent, by carefully highlighting the use of domestic objects and use of materials, Kenny transforms them into objects of high esteem, focusing on shared visual memories and aesthetics of aspiration.
Clare Kenny (b. 1976, Manchester, UK) studied her BA at Chelsea School of Art London and MA at HSLU Luzern, Switzerland, and has been living and working in Basel, Switzerland since 2007.
Kenny has exhibited internationally at galleries and institutions, including: Touchstones Museum, Rochdale, UK; Kunsthaus Zürich, CH; Kunsthalle Basel, CH; Kunsthaus Baselland, Muttenz, CH; Kunsthaus Langenthal, CH; Aargauer Kunsthaus, CH; Kunstmuseum Luzern, CH; AKKU Emmenbrücke, CH; DOLL espace d’art contemporain, Lausanne, CH; ABBT Projects, Zürich, CH; Contemporary Arts Society North, York, UK; La Kunsthalle, Mulhouse, FR; and at art fairs including: Marfa Invitational, Texas, US; ARTBASEL, Basel, CH; Artgenève, Geneve, CH; Artforum Berlin, DE; The Manchester Contemporary, UK; and Artissima, Turin, IT.
She is listed in SIKART, Lexikon zur Kunst, CH; has twice been shortlisted for the Swiss Art Awards; and was awarded the Kunstkredit Prize from the city of Basel in Switzerland in 2013 and 2017/18. She was an artist in residence at Residency Unlimited in New York, USA (2018), at the Institute for Provocation in Beijing, supported by ProHelvetia (2015) and the IAAB cite des Artes, Paris (2013).
Kenny’s permanent public sculpture commission ‘Site Unseen’ launched in July 2016 and is on view in Gundeli, Basel. She is artist/curator of the current exhibition ‘If I was a Rich Girl’, at Kunst Raum Riehen, Basel, CH (until 30 June 2019).