Miss Clare Brennan

Lecturer

School School of Design and Informatics

Department Division of Games and Arts

Contact info

+44 (0)1382 30 8887

Biography

Curator and Lecturer in Visual Arts Practice 

I’m an artist, curator and lecturer in visual arts practice. 

As Curator at Abertay, I develop activities that engage contemporary artists, producers and researchers to inspire new collaborations and generate fresh knowledge.

Primarily this is delivered through our programme ’Weave: creativity, community, collaboration’. Weave creates a vibrant programme of cultural events that share local and global creativity, through pop-up events across the city.

Drawing upon Dundee’s Unesco City of Design accolade and connecting to other creative communities across the world, Weave gives a platform to national and international artists and designers, creating opportunities to be inspired, make new connections and discover new things. Through exhibitions, workshops, talks and performances, we'll also be sharing the talent and innovation of Abertay students and staff.

From a research perspective, I’m interested in the connecting points between digital technology, performance and community engagement.  As technology becomes increasingly imbedded in the creative process, how do we ensure that it enriches the experience of performer and audience?  How can we use technology to connect - bridging the gap between the mental and the social, between philosophy and reality?

My curatorial research explores this through interdisciplinary projects with artists, performers and technologists undertaking ground-breaking and experimental work.

I continue to explore my own art practice - figurative painting. Within my large-scale oil paintings and small-scale drawings, I explore human psychological states and seek to create performance within portraiture - using realism to portray the unreal.
 

I am Lecturer of Visual Arts Practice delivering modules across all levels within the BA (Hons) Computer Arts programme, and across other programmes within the School of Design and Informatics. Teaching relates to visual enquiry through drawing activities, presentation and curation and professional practice explored via engagement with exhibitions, studio practice, critical discourse with arts practitioners. 

 

In my capacity as Curator at Abertay I work with contemporary and interdisciplinary cultural producers, artists and researchers from the UK and abroad to generate new knowledge and to inspire new collaborations.

I am particularly interested in the dynamic field of Digital Performance. As our knowledge and familiarity of digital tools expand we see that the use of technology within performance has become increasingly imbedded in the creative process, moving beyond the ostentatious and evolving to enrich and enhance performativity in more subtle and meaningful ways. How do we ensure that the technology serves to enrich the experience of the performer and the audience?  How can we use technology within real environments to connect; bridging the gap between the mental and the social, between philosophy and reality? And what can we learn from best practice in this area to inspire new and valuable collaborations?

My curatorial research explores this through interdisciplinary projects with artists, performers and technologists undertaking ground-breaking, experimental and playful projects; from pervasive gaming, augmented reality, narrative and abstract animation, ubiquitous computing and computer human interaction. 

As Curator I develop activities that engage researchers, academics, students and creatives in knowledge exchange and creative activity, delivering a cultural outreach programme, and supporting innovative projects which disseminate key University research.   Driving the core programme is digital culture, enriched by Abertay’s world-leading success in the areas of computer games, digital media and computer arts. Our programme aims to explore the processes of creative production through technology and how the space can facilitate new work and contextualise it within a wider cultural arena.

 

I also continue to develop my own art practice; figurative painting. My personal practice explores human psychological states; inspired by the sociological theory of Dramaturgy- where human actions are said to be completely dependent upon time, place, and audience; manipulating the ‘audience’ into believing and accepting the character they present. In other words; Life as a series of little performances, short stories, dramatic plays.

Within my large scale oil paintings and small scale drawings I seek to create performance within portraiture, using realism to portray the unreal. Inspired by artists such as Richards Phillips and duo Asgar and Gabriel, I find the notion of creating fantastical narratives and portraying unattainable beauty within a single image an exhilarating challenge. The process begins with a conversation between the artist and subject; a collaboration. Scenarios are discussed, their character(s) developed, environments built (physical or imaginary). The performance begins. It’s about story telling, holding the viewers attention, compelling them to unravel the tale.

PEER-REVIEWED CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS, POSTERS and ABSTRACTS


Parker L., and Brennan, C. 2015. Tradition meets Technology: Audience Participation in the creation of a Digital Mediated Ceilidh. The 27th Society of Animation Studies Conference. Canterbury, 13-16 July 2015.

 

Brennan, C., and Parker, L. 2014. Animating Dance and Dancing with Animation: A Retrospective of Forever Falling Nowhere. EVA London, London, UK, 8 - 10 July 2014.

 

Brennan, C. and Holford-Lovell, D. 2014. Future Proofing; Assets, Knowledge and Legacy. CHI Toronto, Toronto, Canada, 26 - April 1 May 2014.

 

PUBLISHED CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS


Brennan, C., and Parker, L. 2014. Animating Dance and Dancing with Animation: A Retrospective of Forever Falling Nowhere. EVA London 2014.

 

Brennan, C. and Holford-Lovell, D. 2014. Future Proofing; Assets, Knowledge and Legacy. CHI Toronto, Toronto, Canada, 26 - April 1 May 2014.

 

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS

Title: Decoding Space
Principal Investigator – Clare Brennan
Co-Investigator – Blast Theory, Lynn Parker and Corinne Jola (Abertay), Tom Demajo and Mal Abbath, Jeannette Ginslov
Curated by – Clare Brennan

Title: Proof
Principal Investigator – Dr Kevin Farrugia
Co-Investigator – Beatrice Haines (artist)
Curated by – Clare Brennan

 

Title: Trans-formations
Principal Investigator – Alison Rouse
Co-Investigators – Rosie Stenhouse and Clare Brennan
Curated by – Clare Brennan

 

Title: Double Blind Test Series
Principal Investigator – David Lyons
Curated by – Raz Ullah and Clare Brennan

 

Title:  NEoN Digital Arts Festival 2009- Present
University of Abertay is a key partner in devising and delivering NEoN’s annual programme of knowledge exchange and community engagement activities.


Title: Forever Falling Nowhere – (part of NEoN Digital Arts Festival 2013)
Principal Investigator – Lynn Parker and Clare Brennan
Co-Investigator – Thomas Small (Choreography) Andrew Mitchell (Sound)

 

Title: Liminal Cities– (part of NEoN Digital Arts Festival 2013)
Principal Investigators-  Francesca Perona
Co-Investigators – Curated by Clare Brennan, Dr. David Blackwood, Dr. Jim Bown, Dr. John Isaacs, Dr. Andrew Spiers


Title: Imagination Will Take You Everywhere
Principal Investigators-  Curated by Clare Brennan
Co-Investigators – Staff and students of the School of Arts, Media and Games, Abertay
     Chris Van der Kuyl and David Keningale at 4J
     Dundee City Council, Waterfront Development Team
     V&A at Dundee

 

Title: SOIL
Principal Investigators-  Co-curated by Clare Brennan and Jonathan Baxter
Co-Investigators (exhibiting artists)  –
Jonathan Baxter
Stéfanie Bourne
Dalziel and Scullion
Sarah Gittins
Jan Hendry
Ashley Nieuwenhuizen
SIMBIOS Centre

More Information

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BOARDS AND COMMITTEES 

NEoN Digital Arts Festival committee (ongoing)

Cultural Agency Networks group (ongoing)

Festivals and Events Strategy Group (ongoing) 

Dundee Arts Cafe committee (ongoing)

Dundee City of Culture panel 2014

Outreach

Our Culutral engagment programme of events, festivals, exhibitions, workshops, screenings and performance have attracted and engaged audiences both locally and further afield.

Designed to enhance and work with the university’s cultural strategy the programme delivers exhibitions combined with other research projects, talks, events, seminars and film programme across campus and across the city. The programme is informed by the University's outstanding reputaion within computer games and creative technologies, as well as drawing upon Dundee's status as a Unesco City of Design, generating new projects and enhancing existing University work.

In contrast to this, external relationships with other cultural organisations also inform part of the programme offering more traditional ways of working, allowing the programme to give recognition to a diverse range of visual practices.   

Projects are scheduled around a year in advance; working with artists based both nationally and internationally.

The University has a commitment to the dissemination of its culture, intent on realising large scale projects and continuing research. Being a window into these activities, our cultural programme endeavours to give a platform to new work by influential and acclaimed artists/designers whilst also being a champion of exceptional, less exposed artists.

Meet the rest of the team

Dr Christos Michalakos

Dr Christos Michalakos

Division of Games and Arts | Lecturer

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Dr Lynn Love

Dr Lynn Love

Division of Games and Arts | Lecturer

View profile