Plastic Artist

Bruce Clarke

Bruce Clarke was born in London in 1959 to expatriate South African parents. He became involved very early politically and artistically against Apartheid and closely followed the rise of tensions in Rwanda.

It was at the Beaux-Arts at Leeds University in the 1980s that he was introduced to the Art & Language movement and conceptual art.

His work deals with contemporary history, the writing and transmission of this history to stimulate reflection on the contemporary world and its representations. Resolutely anchored in a current of critical figuration, his plastic research integrates the codes to better turn them against the apparatuses of power and injustice.

His latest publication, Fantômes de la Mer (2016), pays tribute to refugees who are victims of trans-Mediterranean human trafficking.

Rwanda

The Garden of Memory

Encouraged by Rwandan friends exiled in France, he went to Rwanda in 1994 for a photographic report, a few weeks after the genocide. Clarke is shaken by the reality of the massacre and questions her role as an artist.

On a site near Kigali, he proposes to design an artistic memorial, a monumental installation dedicated to the missing. This Garden of Memory provides for the installation of a million stones each bearing the name of a victim of the genocide.

Carried out with the help of associations of victims, families, the Rwandan public authorities and UNESCO, the project was completed in 2019.

Without Art, we wouldn't be human.
The very basic definition of what humanity is, what being human is, is that humans got language and culture.
Otherwise, we're animals. Literally.

Bruce Clarke, 2021

Technique

Playing with fragments

According to Bruce Clarke, history comes to us in bits and pieces that must be pieced together.
It is by applying this method of thought that he works.

Clarke creates from fragments. Newspapers, posters, scraps of words and colors; all these individual pieces are integrated on the canvas and rearranged.

They form a new composition with multiplied senses. Buried under these fragments, history can be guessed.

Animal paintings

Predators

These paintings are the result of Bruce Clarke's reflection on the notion of predation.

In this series of paintings, the animal is only a metaphor. The subject, as always with Bruce Clarke, is the human. Human predation.
Because despite his strong capacity for empathy, and sometimes even sympathy, Man is also one of the only living beings who hunts his own species, well beyond mere survival.

Human predation is at the same time financial, sexual and environmental. We also speak of social or ecological predation; in short, predation in all areas!