It is easy to become mesmerized by the flames and molten glass when photographing Claire Correia, but that is only what is visible at the surface as she transforms her ideas into physical reality. This is why the second time I met her, I focused on the artist behind the flames.
Claire is a visual artist who works with a wide range of materials and techniques. She explains the motivation behind her current project as follows:
I believe that the Earth is an organism afloat in an ocean of energy, which flows into things as they become alive, out of things as they die, and moves in tides with the moon just like water. As part of the larger planetary ecosystem, this body must be teeming with a huge variety of creatures, living their lives entirely unaffected by the three-dimensional world even as they share the same space.
My current body of work began with the idea that when a person dies, their sentience or soul is released and swims off into the ocean of energy. From this point of departure, interest in museum display techniques led to a visual language in which most of the focal objects appear to be hovering an inch in front of their anchoring substrates; hundreds of flame worked glass sculptures and spheres – each one set on the head of a pin, cluster in sequences of colour and form above prepared surfaces which suggest rhythm, movement, or open space, and are assembled to convey a sense of inhabited environment.
These assemblages are built on the human scale, and invite the viewer to step up, look closely, and become immersed in the detail of the work. The aim through this approach is to create an experience that exceeds the boundaries of the purely aesthetic, and at the same time offers a sense of visual delight.