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International Women's Day 2017

Clare Brennan - Visual Arts Practice Lecturer

Clare is a Visual Arts Practice Lecturer in Abertay's School of Arts, Media & Computer Games. She is also Curator of the Hannah Maclure Centre, Abertay’s cultural hub, which engages researchers, academics, students and creatives in knowledge exchange activity. It also delivers a cultural outreach programme and supports innovative projects using the University’s research and success in the areas of computer games, digital media and computer arts.

Tell us about your career…

Growing up, I was always involved in community arts and theatre. I loved to draw, to make art, to dance and to go to exhibitions and performances. Looking back, it helped build my confidence and meant that I was always meeting creative and interesting people from all different backgrounds and cultures. After school I studied at DJCAD, specialising in figurative painting, and graduating with a BA (Hons). I then moved in to a studio space where I worked on commissions and works for exhibition. Whilst I loved it, being a painter can be a fairly solitary thing. I always struggled with that isolation since I’m a sociable person, so I started to offset my solo studio time by working with young people and families doing art workshops and working in galleries. I found that talking to people about art, creating learning opportunities and facilitating creative events and exhibitions really chimed with my passions and personality. At Abertay, I take great enjoyment from working with our students, collaborating with staff, and working with creatives locally, nationally and internationally to explore artistic practice. It’s a very exciting time to be in Dundee and working on things like NEoN Digital Arts Festival and UNESCO City of Design projects is a real privilege.

Inspired by…

I’m inspired by the women in my life, more so than any famous figures from my field of work. The strong women in my family – my mum, my grandmothers – who are and were bold, hardworking and kind people. And my friends, who are amazing mothers, that are creative, bright, beautiful and funny.  

Advice for young women…

Ignore your own self-doubt and throw yourself in at the deep end! Getting stuck into something is the best way to learn new things and realise what you're actually capable of (which is usually a whole lot more than you think!)

International Women’s Day…

International Women’s Day is a wonderful thing and it is essential. Whilst there continues to be unequal opportunities and an imbalance of women being represented in all areas of work and life, we must use this day as a platform to shout about female achievement and celebrate the incredible strength, talent and skill of women from our local communities and across the globe.