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Claire BarclayDeep Spoils

24 March - 02 June 2018

Private View, 6pm Friday 23 March
Reading Room Lecture: 1-2pm Thursday 22 March. FREE
ALEX Design Exchange, Alexandra Road. Supported by Swansea College of Art


Mission Gallery is pleased to present this exhibition by Claire Barclay, a Scottish artist known for creating large-scale installations, often made in situ and in response to the spaces in which they are shown.

For this exhibition, her first in Wales, Barclay will reimagine and adapt existing works in order that they may be given another life in a new context. The sculptural forms inhabiting the gallery will reflect the city’s industrial heritage and embody evidence of the human endeavour, labour and skill that would have been echoed in the local coal, copper and pottery industries. She has described making exhibitions as a ‘pause in an ongoing process’, and the work shown at Mission Gallery connects to and is developed from, forms made for other spaces; Tramway in Glasgow and at Kelvin Hall for Glasgow International.

Barclay’s work juxtaposes the space of the gallery with that of the everyday. The objects she produces are imbued with qualities that are both familiar and strange. Her practice is deeply rooted in process and craftsmanship, positioned between the handcrafted and industrially produced. Her installations include an array of materials that oscillate between those associated with mechanisation and those situated within the domestic: steel, cast-concrete, ceramic aluminium, rubber, canvas and printed fabric.

Claire Barclay is interested in how meanings are bound up in materials and substances and the potential drama of objects and materials when they coincide, collide, and interact. The body is always referenced in the form of the work and she addresses relationships between the human body and the industrial workplace, in particular, the physical states of strength and vulnerability that underlie human engagement with skilled manual work. The bodies of workers and the resilience and fragility of the body is suggested through the materials, tensions and sculptural forms.


This exhibition will provide a welcome opportunity to revisit and further explore the use of unstable, transient, ephemeral substances and examine the disconnect between the glorification of industrial achievements and the raw brutal nature of production.

Claire Barclay is based in Glasgow, where she also received an MA from Glasgow School of Art. In 2003, she represented Scotland at the Venice Biennale and was the focus of a solo exhibition ‘Half Light’, at the Tate Britain in 2004. More recently, she has made an exhibition, ‘Yield Point’, for Tramway, Glasgow. Other solo UK exhibitions have included, ‘Shadow Spans’, Whitechapel Gallery, London ‘Shifting Ground’, Camden Arts Centre, London, ‘Openwide’, Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh and ‘Ideal Pursuits’, Dundee Contemporary Arts. Her work is in public collections including Tate Modern; Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Sweden; MUDAM, Luxembourg.

Claire Barclay is represented by Stephen Friedman Gallery, London 


Image: Bright Bodies, Glasgow International 2016, Kelvin Hall. Photo Credit: Ruth Clark


Other links:

Glasgow International 2016: 

Tate Britain: 


The Guardian: 



Download Mission Gallery’s digital brochure, March – Sept 2018 here

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