SUSPENDED, acrylic on canvas, 100 x 100 cm, 2011
Claire Stening makes art to enrich our lives. On one hand her paintings offer perfect illusions of reality, rendered out of the play of dark and light, with extraordinary attention to detail and colour and an exactness that seduces our eye to believe that we can enter the depth and dimension opening within the flat picture plane.
In themselves they are beautiful things. At the same time, however, the paintings contain reminders of beauty of the everyday. Although the work’s titles sometimes hint at a possible narrative framework, most often it is our own memories that her work will evoke. Stening takes seriously her role as an artist, which is to focus our vision and alert us to the beauty of the objects with which we have shared our lives.
Not surprisingly she prefers the genres of portraiture and still life to capture and crystallize moments in time and reveal layers of meaning not immediately evident. Through her paintings, Stening invites us to stop and see the smaller picture, to cherish the special experience of ordinary things.