Claire Dunn is a San Francisco-based artist, psychologist and a traveler. She was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she received her BS in psychology at Universidad del Salvador (USAL). She is currently pursuing an MFA (Fine arts) at California College of the Arts (CCA) in San Francisco. Her artwork has been exhibited in Argentina and in the USA.
I allow my skin to have a song. The song of a plant, of a tree, of a dragon, the song of myself. These songs form part of a dialogue between the sky and the ground. As a psychologist, my practice in the field has brought me the ability to ask questions that awaken more awareness than the ability to give answers. I think about the relationship between the human psyche and the metaphors of the natural world through multidisciplinary art.
My Grandmother always recognized a spirit in everything. Since early childhood, she introduced me to the powerful world of fantasy. Thanks to her, I’ve learnt to walk through the woods with an open perception to the ethereal world, observing and acknowledging the beings that inhabit the place; the trees, the animals, the elementals and more. Even though she has now transitioned to the etheric realm, her legacy lives on through me and she is now part of the sounds of the orchestra of the magical living forest that surrounds her house in Córdoba, Argentina. Deeply inspired by this beautiful soul contract, I seek to manifest the different dynamics between spiritualizing matter and materializing the spiritual. After studying psychology, I realized how mythology has been so important to humanity, helping us make sense of the world from a higher perspective.
My work celebrates the ceremony of gravity. In this ceremony, I re-create nature’s code by picking up and bringing things together in a particular way. Engaged in the creation of form, I explore visual and conceptual possibilities through the lens of psychology, mythology and storytelling. Through this journey, I map my personal psyche; providing images that are the vehicles in which elements of our collective consciousness are embodied and explored, highlighting the beauty of the apparently insignificant and overlooked forms and patterns of nature, and conjuring spirit to inert materials. The final work is a result of a raw, experimental and expressive performance.
Allowing for limitless experimentation, my work is not beholden to one medium, form or location; even though my 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. Currently based in California, my work is a constellation of different materials and mediums; ranging from handmade sculptures and paintings to experimental photography, multimedia installation and invented tools.
The pandemic was a creative boom for me. I was in my home in Argentina. I dared to immerse myself in the waters of my unconscious, also to navigate different processes of artmaking. I got into a lot of experimentation and playing, accompanied by a lot of personal introspection. Art helps me break down barriers and fears, discover more of myself and new worlds. During this period I also began to discover the world of performance. My studio in Buenos Aires looked like a cave. It was a circular room with a duome as a roof. I spent all my time there. I called it the Cave. During quarantine I painted my entire cave with my hands, it had many layers of paint, the remains of experiences. Dancing, writing, singing, meditation, performance and embroidery was part of my work during the pandemic. For me, the creative process is the most important thing. Everything happens in the process. The final work is just the result of one or many experiences that happened. An evidence or trace of a trip. After a year of pandemic iI decided to embark on a new journey: to pursue my Master of Fine arts at California College of the Arts, San Francisco. I effectively moved to California in August, 2021.
This photogram series “Earth Stars” is an exploration of the conversions of earthly matter, DNA and star constellations. They talk about Luminosity. Although they look like celestial bodies, 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. On these photograms, I carve unique dynamic abstract drawings with different tools.
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