Work

Canticles

2021

"The Canticles paintings are a series of 28 works in watercolour on Velin Arches, laid on raw canvas. Born directly out of the Vespers series of paintings (2019–20), in the Canticles, created in 2021, Clarke continues the exploration of colour and form developed into a recognisable and personal language through the preceding body of works.

Canticles have parallels with the 1977 Dangerous Visions/‘Punk paintings’, the works which first attracted broader cultural attention to Clarke – slashed canvases patched up with collaged paper, safety pins and paper clips – and the cycle of paintings he created for the chapel of the Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham, in 1976. One of the largest public art commissions of the period, the forty-five interrelated paintings for the chapel included a series within the cycle related which incorporated paper laid on raw canvas, with splits and tears made in the sheets of paper replacing drawn or painted line."