Claire Elise was born in Des Moines, IA and grew
up in Johnston. She received her B.A. in Studio Art with a Ceramics emphasis, from the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, IA in 2019. Ceramics and Photography are her two main mediums but sculpture is another area she likes to explore. She currently works as the Ceramics Lab Technician at the Hearst Center for the Arts, in Cedar Falls, IA. She also works as a Ceramics Lab Monitor for the University of Northern Iowa, in Cedar Falls.
My work is a collection of self-portraits that surmise past moments, feelings and memories from my childhood. These are derived from having grown up in a stifling, emotionally abusive, and neglectful environment. I seek to encapsulate these personal struggles in order to discover who I am, and who I have been, and who I can become.
In ceramics, I tend to work at a bigger scale which emphasizes the importance of these emotional moments. I find that a larger scale also gives a sense of enormity, seriousness, and a sense of relation to these feelings as a whole. Every texture and color I use is chosen to emphasize each specific moment or feeling that I address in each piece. Much is derived from my childhood, and how encapsulating those feelings now, allows for reflection and growth as both a person and an artist.
In my photography, I like to create scenes that also deal with these emotions. I find that this media allows me a different sense of exploration through the concepts that I am working with. Photography allows me to construct a sense of narrative, whether real or imagined, yet it still conveys an honest truth behind the feelings they evoke. While my work is very personal to me, I like creating scenes, and pieces in which the viewers can construct their own interpretation.