Claire Falkenberg

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What is my work about?

My work is about knowing and not knowing. It is about the familiar and the mysterious, the ephemeral and the material. My work is about being of the landscape, of garbage, trees, clouds, and light. It is about being within and without simultaneously.


Artist Statement

I walk and look at the landscape. I look again and again. I look at the colour of the clouds, the shape of the trees, at the light, at the air. Living in the city I look at the trash on the sidewalks and the plastic bags caught in the grass. I am looking for the familiar within the unknown, and the unknown within the familiar. I am looking to recognize myself as a thing not separate from the landscape but within it as equal, contingent and mysterious.

My work comes about slowly and in waves. I spend a great deal of time just observing, trying to feel the thing I am looking at, trying to see the thing more clearly. I want to know it and I want to not know it. I want it to be completely familiar while at the same time remaining mysterious, eluding me and eluding definition. It is this simultaneous sensation of knowing and not knowing that I am after. Through this experience I want to provoke a feeling that comes before words, names or stories, a deep and subtle sense that causes us to wonder: What is this thing, and how do I already know it?  With this question comes a desire to uncover the work, to know what’s behind the cloud of oil paint, to lift the translucent paper and look underneath. But in doing so, nothing more is revealed, there is no secret, the mystery is not hidden: it is only this.