Nick Claiden United Kingdom
I am an artist painting on glass and paper to create 2d and 3d works. My work is strongly narrative and explores the interaction of people and landscape aided by birds. My starting point was as a painter using watercolours and mixed media, around 2000 I began to study stained glass and I have continued to develop approaches to painting and sculpting with stained glass and paper.
My paintings and stained glass draw on very similar themes. I am fascinated by people and their body language and the way they inhabit their landscape, both interacting with it and isolated from it, taking for granted their surroundings My work on paper uses watercolour, crayons and pencil. I would not describe myself as a watercolorist as I use a lot of layering and spraying of colour and then finding the images by lifting the paint out and incorporating other media including collage. The stained glass sculptures incorporate stained glass painted using traditional techniques, ( the paint is fused to the glass in a kiln, the imagery is however totally modern and I occasionally engrave the glass before painting to give it more of a texture) and sometimes fused glass as well. I use both lead and zinc, as well as copper foil to construct my sculptural pieces. To hold them upright I either use a wire structure or set them in concrete or wooden bases. I have recently been looking at ways of combing my paintings and my glass. I etch images onto the picture glass and make stained glass panels to replace the picture glass. Both of these result in some fascinating interplays of glass, shadows and reflections and complement the painted image. Over the last few years I have been watching people's body language as they use mobile phones and how that affects them, others and their awareness of their surroundings. They appear isolated, but are they? In response to this I have done a series of stained glass pieces of figures on mobile phones, using wire to represent the entanglement of communication, birds and butterflies to express their isolation from their surroundings. I am continuing to explore this theme as well as others.