Clare Milledge's work reconsiders our relationship to objects, materials, nature and language. Hinterglasmalerei, her idiosyncratic painting technique, is a process of painting backwards, an approach involving the application of oil paint on the reverse side of glass. In her hands, it involves the brushing on, then scraping away of quantities of paint, repeatedly, until resolution is achieved. A negotiation, even for the most apparently simple paintings.
Milledge produces total environment installations that are process-based and porous. The installations feature and elaborate upon the glass paintings and act as stages or sites for performance, textiles (standing in for nature), wall paintings, costumes and sculptures. Her research interests include the writings of French philosopher, Georges Bataille, environmental science, the artist-shaman and experimental sound. Glass has the potential to co-house a sharpening clarity with a darker, murkier content however nothing is clearly given within in the ecology of Milledge's work.
Milledge (b. 1977, Sydney) completed her Doctor of Philosophy at Sydney College of the Arts, the University of Sydney in 2013. Part of her candidacy (2008) was spent at the Universität der Künste, Berlin. Milledge did her Honours year (also administered by Sydney College of the Arts) at the Statenskunst Akademi in Oslo and still maintains an active interest in Norwegian contemporary art (working with Tori Wrånes on the 19th Biennale of Sydney and at 55 Sydenham Rd, Marrickville - both 2014).
Solo exhibitions include Skara Thynge – Travelling Stock Reserves, The Commercial Gallery, Sydney (2016); Theoretical Regression: A Warm Sheen Against Received Ideas, The Commercial Gallery, Sydney (2014); Altus Duel: Total Environment, Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne (2014); Anthropocene Circle: Theory Theory, Kalimanrawlins, Melbourne (2013); Motivated Reasoning: Strategic, Tactical, Operational, The Commercial Gallery, Sydney (2013); Maximalist Ritualist (with Carla Cescon) at the Australian Experimental Art Foundation, Adelaide (2012); Cave Art: Retarded Transcendence at Peloton, Sydney (2011); Lord Owl at the Institute of Contemporary Art Newtown, Sydney (2010) and The Last Visible Dog at Grantpirrie, Sydney (2009).
Group exhibitions include Magic Object: 2016 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art, curated by Lisa Slade; Dämmerschlaf, 2016 (with Nick Dorey and Mikala Dwyer), curated by Alexie Glass-Kantor and Talia Linz, Artspace, Sydney; Fauvette Loureiro Memorial Artists’ Travelling Scholarship Prize, Sydney College of the Arts, Sydney, Neverwhere, curated by Vikki McInnes, Gaia Gallery, Istanbul (both 2015); Unstable Parts in a Unfriendly Place, Institute of Contemporary Art Newtown (ICAN), Sydney (2014); The Sleeping and the Dead, Sarah Scout, Melbourne (2013); Un-Acclimatised, curated by Catherine Bennetts-Cash at Monash University Art Museum, Melbourne, Ladies and Gentlemen curated by Matthys Gerber at Yuill Crowley, Sydney (both 2012); Bad Angle curated by Clare Lewis, Stills Gallery, Sydney (2011); Neo Goth: Back in Black, curated by Alison Kubler at the University of Queensland Art Museum, Brisbane (2008); Verk/Work, with D.O.R. group (NO), curated by Kristin Vestrin at Forsbacka Bruk Art Project, Forsbacka Steelworks, Dalarnas Län, Sweden (2006).
Milledge has curated several exhibitions including the experimental laboratory, Psychomagic Dead Matters, at 55 Sydenham Rd, Marrickville, Sydney (2014).
She has three times been a finalist in the Helen Lempriere Travelling Art Scholarship (2007, 2008, 2010) and twice was the recipient of the Fauvette Loureiro Memorial Artists Exchange Scholarship (2006, 2008) which enabled her to study in Oslo and Berlin respectively.