Artist Statement

Sit with not knowing.

Images are developed as a response to a metaphor discovered over time.

Collecting digital images of industrial processes, the relationship between image/object and metaphor becomes clear.

Working on different sheets of film means I can set up multiple imagery crashes and collisions by flipping and inverting them. 

I exploit the opportunities film gives to hide or expose areas that, for example, might have been intensely worked on one sheet to then become partially or totally obscured by another. 

Smudging, smearing, rubbing out drawing, washing, scraping away, all leaves traces on the film surface that show the development of my thinking.

Over time the surface of the film builds up a dense patination of these processes, I want to see these physical and emotional fingerprints as the themes starts to emerge. 

I see the whole process as transparent, revealing and obscure. It reminds me that I still sit with not knowing.


"...more and more my own language appears to me like a veil that must be torn apart in order to get at the things (or the nothingness) behind bore one hole after another in it, until what lurks behind it - be it something or nothing - begins to seep through" (Samuel Beckett 1983). 


" Pascal's phrase `Le silence de ces espaces infines m'effraie' can serve as an expression of intolerance and fear of the `unknowable' and hence of the unconscious in the sense of the undiscovered or the unevolved. (Wilfred Bion 1975)


I use polyester drawing film, conte, graphite, charcoal, retouching varnish, wax crayon, carbon paper, collage, conte wash and water stain.


Claire Parrish






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All text and images © Claire Parrish 1980 - 2017