Approved: 16.08.2006

Graham Clucas


Approved: 16.08.2006

Artist’s Statement: Graham Clucas

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Artist Statement

Artist’s Statement: Graham Clucas

I am now in my eightieth year and still wondering what I am and what I am doing here. It’s the age-old question. ‘Why is there something rather than nothing?’. Although I wouldn’t expect to find an answer, and would prefer not to, my life has been enriched by the ideas of those (from Spinoza to Zen monks) who have thought deeply about this question, and about how we should spend our time here.

I am particularly drawn to the things we cannot know and the questions that can’t be answered. Silence, where there are no questions or answers, has been a good starting point. My current painting continues to draw on my years of teaching and doctoral research on ‘Painting Silence’, which explores how the practices of silent painting that developed from Abstract Expressionism and Minimalism grapple visually with the fundamental questions of existence.

Time is another enriching mystery which plays an important role in my work and in my practice as a painter. Like St Augustine, ‘Provided that no one asks me what it is, I know. If I want to explain it to an inquirer, I do not know.’ Painting is an apposite medium in which to explore these questions which language struggles to answer. The experience of time, as mindfully observed in the act of painting and of viewing a painting, is another aspect of existence which I hope my work might bring into clearer focus for those who look at it.

The act of painting is not just about creating an external object, but also, in the words of Herbert Read, of vitally reorganising the balance of impulses within oneself. It is a transformative act, which can lead people to a fuller understanding of themselves and their surroundings. With increasing age, the act of painting as a reorganisation of impulses, ideas and responses to unanswerable questions, becomes more and more important to me. I aim to create work which engages the viewer in the transformative experience of confronting the silent, unanswerable questions that surround us with wonder, if we only turn our attention to them.


CV & Education


Born in Preston, Lancashire

Lives and works in Nancledra, Cornwall


PhD      Painting Silence, University of Plymouth.                              

B.A.      Open University.                                                                    

A.T.C.  University of London, Goldsmiths’ College, School of Art.

N.D.D. Painting (and Lithography), Harris College of Art, Preston.


1967-1972    University of London, Goldsmiths’ College, School of Art. (Part-Time Lecturer)     

1972-1985    Exeter College of Art and Design. (Full-Time/Senior Lecturer).

1985-2007    University of Plymouth. (Senior Lecturer), 1985-2007


Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

Devon County Council.

Londonderry City Council.

The Tresco Estate.

Winner of Exeter Phoenix Award for a Devon Based Artist, Exeter Contemporary Open 2007, Phoenix Arts Centre, Exeter.

Westward TV Open Art Competition 1977, Truro, (Commendation: Painting Section).                       


2003     Graham Clucas: New Paintings, Fishwick Gallery, University of Plymouth, Faculty of Arts and Education, Exeter.                          

2002     Graham Clucas: PhD Submission, first exhibition of paintings from 1994-2002, Fishwick Gallery, University of Plymouth, Faculty of Arts, Exeter.

1994     Graham Clucas, Paintings and Prints, Brewhouse Theatre and Arts .

1993     Graham Clucas, New Works, Coombe Street Gallery, Exeter.

1990     Graham Clucas: Paintings and Lithographs, Lancashire Polytechnic, Preston.

1982     Building Sites - Paintings and Lithographs, Exe Gallery, Exeter.

1972    Graham Clucas: Screenprints and Lithographs, Exe Gallery, Exeter.        

1971     Graham Clucas: Prints, Second Season, Fifth exhibition, July 31 – August 22, Serpentine Gallery, London.


2018    NSA On View, Newlyn Society of Artists, Tremenheere Gallery, Penzance.

2018    Drawing Explored, Newlyn Society of Artists, Tremenheere Gallery, Penzance.

2017     Critic's Choice, Newlyn Society of Artists, Tremenheere Gallery, Penzance.

2017     Borders, Newlyn Society of Artists, Tremenheere Gallery, Penzance.

2011     Fishwick and Friends, Falmouth Art Gallery, Falmouth, Cornwall.

2009     Structure:Time, Picturehouse, Exeter.                                  

2008     Muse, Edgar Modern Gallery, Bath. 

2008     Affordable Art Fair, (Edgar Modern), Amsterdam.

2007     Exeter Contemporary Open, Exeter Phoenix, Exeter.

2006     Full Spectrum: Colour + Chemistry, Sherborne House, Sherborne, Dorset.                 

2001-2  21st Mini Print International, Taller Galeria Fort, Cadaques, Spain; touring to Wingfield Arts and Music Festival, England; Galerie L’Etang d’Art, Bages, France.                              

2001     Relative Unfoldings, Cultural Centre, Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.

2000     20th Mini Print International,Taller Galeria Fort, Cadaques,  to Wingfield Arts and Music Festival, England; Canet de Mar, Barcelona ; Galerie L’Etang d’Art, Bages, France.

2000-2  Relativities: 4th International Miniature Print Exhibition, Bankside Gallery, London; touring to The City Gallery, Leicester; Aberystwyth Arts Centre; St Barbe Museum, Lymington; Inverness Museum and Art Gallery; Oriel Myrddin, Carmarthen; Loughborough University School of Art and Design; Gracefield Arts Centre, Dumfries; Bonhoga Gallery, Weisdale, Shetland; Beldam Gallery, Brunel University; Falmouth Art Gallery; Off-Centre Gallery Bristol; Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery; Beverly Art Gallery, Beverley.

1999     On and Off the Wall, Art Haven, Exeter.                                               

1999     Traces, Thelma Hulbert Gallery, Honiton.  

1998     Second International Triennial of Graphic Arts, Sofia, Bulgaria.

1995     Spacex Gallery, Exeter.

1992     Prints by Invitation, Brewhouse Theatre and Arts Centre, Taunton.

1991     New Art in Exeter, Harlequin Centre, Exeter.      

1991     The Printed Article, Exeter Printmakers, Spacex Gallery, Exeter.

1991     Exeter Arts Centre.        

1990     Art and Architecture, King’s Wharf, The Quay, Exeter.   

1990     New Art in Exeter, Spacex Gallery, Exeter.                           

1990     Abstract 90, Cleveland Bridge Gallery, Bath.       

1990     The Fine Art of Surfacing, Devon Guild of Craftsmen, Bovey Tracey.

1990     Staff Exhibition: Polytechnic South West, Faculty of Arts and Design, Exeter, Taunton, Gwent, Cheltenham.     

1989-90  Painterly Prints, Organised by Off-Centre Gallery, Bristol. Work exhibited at the 3-D Gallery, Bristol, touring to Worcester City Art Galleries, Cheltenham Art College, Ibstock Brickwork Design Centre, Bristol, and Caldicot Castle, Gwent.

1989     New Art in Exeter, Spacex Gallery, Exeter.           

1988     Eighth Annual Brewhouse Open, Taunton.

1988     New Art in Exeter, Spacex Gallery, Exeter.

1987     Seventh Annual Brewhouse Open, Taunton.

1986     Sixth Annual Brewhouse Open, Taunton.

1985     Fifth Annual Brewhouse Open. Taunton.

1985     Spacex Artists, Spacex Gallery, Exeter.                  

1985     Prints and Printmakers, Cirencester Workshops, Cirencester.

1984     Spacex Artists, Exhibition of Drawings, Barnstaple College of Art and Spacex Gallery, Exeter.

1984     Fourth Annual Brewhouse Open, Taunton.

1983     Exposition des Artistes d’Exeter,  Rennes, France.

1981      Plymouth Arts Centre.  

1980-1   Hull Print Competition, Touring to - Hull, Sheffield, Birmingham, Sunderland.

1980     Exe Gallery, Exeter.

1977     Survey of Printmaking, Orchard Gallery, Londonderry, N. Ireland.            

1977     Westward TV Open Art Competition, Truro.(Commendation: Painting Section).

1977     British Printmaking Now, Thumb Gallery, London.

1976     Fifth Bradford International Print Biennale, Cartwright Hall, Bradford.

1975     Westward TV Open Art Competition, Plymouth City Art Gallery.

1975     The Recollection, South West Arts Touring Exhibition.

1975     3-Dimensions Gallery, Berkeley, California, U.S.A.

1974     Printmakers Council Exhibition, Morley College Gallery, London.

1974     Plymouth Society of Artists, Plymouth City Art Gallery.

1974     3-D Prints Extraordinary, New Lane Gallery, Bradford.                   

1974     Exeter Collge of Art Printmakers, University of Exeter.

1973     The Print Club, Philadelphia, U.S.A.

1972     Third Bradford International Print Biennale, Cartwright Hall, Bradford.

1971     Printmakers Council Exhibition, Morley College Gallery, London.

1970     Second Bradford International Print Biennale, Cartwright Hall, Bradford.

1969     Curwen Gallery, London.

1969     Printmakers Council Exhibition, Morley College Gallery, London.

1968     First Bradford International Print Biennale, Cartwright Hall, Bradford.

1968     A.I.A. Gallery, London.

1967     Greenwich Theatre Gallery, London.     

1966     Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Preston.

1965     Lancashire Artists, Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Preston.

1964     Northern Young Artists, Public Museum and Art Gallery, Sunderland.    


2008     Britten, Anna. Muse definitely inspires, Metro, Sunday, August 10, 2008

2007     Radio Devon, Interview - Exeter Contemporary Open Prize Winners. 20th September.

1982     Dalton, John. Graham Clucas, The Guardian, Tuesday, October 5th, 1982, p9.

1969     Boulton Smith, John. PMC Exhibition at Morley College, Studio International, Vol.177,   No.912, June 1969, p.299.

1969     Thomas, Robert. Graphics, Art and Artists, Vol.4, No.2, May 1969, p66.