Claire Dunn’s portfolio was chosen as Outstanding Work in the 2022 Denis Roussel Award.
“Very nice concept and craft that “celebrate the ceremony of gravity.” Your images are beautiful drawings and maps of what a psyche or synapse might look like if we could actually see either in person. This week, your work reminds me of the new images made by the Webb telescope of sinew of long-ago light from 10 billion miles away. Your work is outstanding.” Christopher James
Would you please tell us about yourself?
My name is Claire Dunn. I am a San Francisco-based artist, psychologist, curator and a traveler. I was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where I received my BS in psychology at Universidad del Salvador (USAL). I am currently pursuing an MFA (Fine arts) at California College of the Arts (CCA) in San Francisco.
Who has had an influence on your creative process?
Silvia Fiori was the person who initiated me into a variety of art mediums, including photography. She was my high-school art teacher whom I afterwards worked with for many years. She is an art genius and also very spiritually connected. She helped me find myself through art.
Please tell us about an image (not your own) that has inspired you.
Seeing images of the moon has always been a big inspiration for me.
Is there an image that you wish you would have taken and can you still see it?
I wish I would have taken a photo of a shrine that is in my grandmother’s garden in Córdoba, Argentina. I will hopefully go back in around six months to take it.
How do you work through times when nothing seems to work?
I work on myself, and I trust the universe. Everything happens when and where it’s supposed to be, and I do my best to work towards my intentions but then I try not to put too many expectations on any outcomes, so I can get surprised rather than disappointed.
What part of image-making do you find the most rewarding?
The part where I get to experiment and play.
Please tell us about your process and the work you submitted to the Denis Roussel Award.
The work that I submitted to the Denis Roussel Award is called the “Earthstars series”. Every place has a different climate, atmosphere pressure, different crystals and minerals with a variety of properties and more. This constellation of conditions create a unique living experience. The codes of the place are imprinted in human beings. Even the weather conditions influenced the beginning of the different religions across the world. In my photograms, I explore the patterns and textures of earthly matter in different places, DNA and how they show us their celestial properties.
The photograms talk about luminosity. They are a combination of my analog macro photographic documentations of patterns in nature, my own DNA (like my own hair, and saliva) and small broken mirrors that have my own fingerprints. Throughout history it has been said that we come from the stars. I highlight the beauty of the apparently insignificant and overlooked forms and patterns of nature, conjuring spirit to inert materials. On these photograms, I create unique dynamic abstract drawings with different tools such as sandpaper, Exacto knives and nails.
What tools have you found essential in the making of your work?
Things that I find lying in the ground.
Is there something in photography that you would like to try in the future?
How does your art affect the way you see the world?
I am a traveler, and I am interested in exploring the feelings and sensations each territory transmits to my body. My art practice begins by grounding my own being the place that I immerse myself in, which contains unique qualities that affect changes within me and bring new insights. I enable dialogues with the people and the environment that I am in. I see my art as an empirical research, which originated in my nomadic lifestyle from an early age.
To learn more about the work of Claire Dunn please visit her site by clicking on her name.