NSCAD Graduation Catalogue


Claire Markle

BFA Fine Art


Employing a certain nostalgia found within old stories and fables, my work pushes to satirize many aspects of human nature. Through the anthropomorphizing of animals in human situations, the aim is to accentuate the absurdity of humanity. Karl Marx’s conversation of alienation has played a role in the direction of my practice. He wrote “The animal is immediately one with its life activity. It is not distinct from that activity; it is that activity. Man makes his life activity itself an object of his will and consciousness.” We, as humans, have packaged our lives into this box of the commodity, where it revolves around production and consumption. Animals live based on survival and instinct, they react in relation to their immediate needs and surroundings. Human beings, on the other hand, fundamentally live based on the same instincts with the “higher order” complexities of greed and want. This juxtaposition is what I would like to convey to an audience, initially on an ironic level and leading to a deeper examination of human behaviour.

I am beginning to explore the idea of what painting can be, and move away from what is to be understood as traditional forms of painting.  My practice is now focused on a painting/drawing hybrid as well as less conventional means of support material. Most of my recent works are done in conté and acrylic on un-stretched, raw linen. which was inspired by the works of Leon Golub and the materiality of his process.

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Photographer Alexander Arslanyan (images 1 and 2)