Earlier this year, I met Clare Macrae-Drylie amidst an array of tat, kitsch, glitz and pure treasures at her workshop-studio in Warrnambool. Immersed might be a better word; Clare was hard at work preparing for her current exhibition at The Artery Gallery. Titled LexICON: A Collectors Guide to Obsession, the exhibition is a collaborative project with Matthew Stewart, who created the structures for Clare’s masterful arrangements.
Clare’s collection of objects, which must have been years in the making, fascinated me. I loved its quirkiness, and her obvious artist’s eye for the off-beat, the unusual, and the prosaic. But if the materials fascinated, the assemblages moved me. Some are riotously colourful, others shrine-like; her works embody a multiplicity of associations from the unsettling to the joyous. They invite the viewer to look closely, to think, to feel, question and imagine, which for me is the mark of a fine artist.
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