Claire J Hornby: An Exhibition
When my husband died, I thought my life was over. I certainly didn’t envisage that in less than three years I’d be having my own art exhibition! I didn’t even see myself as an artist at that time! I hadn’t picked up a paintbrush and painted since my A Levels, 22 years previously!
My journey back into art was via Art Journaling, which I learned from a lovely lady called Dyan Reavely (check out her videos on YouTube) in Harrogate. Art Journaling gave me the means to express my grief. It showed me that art didn’t have to be like what I learned at school but could be expressive and emotional.
When I moved to the Wirral, my art journey continued when I happened upon Big Love Sista and, encouraged by its CEO, Clare Campbell, I delved back into painting. Again, I was encouraged to be expressive and emotional.
The friendship and encouragement I received at Big Love Sista led directly to starting a Degree course, which has allowed me to develop my interests and talents. Amongst the artists I was encouraged to research was Picasso. Again, the 22 years difference between school and now made all the difference. Instead of just standing in awe, now I was moved to create works combining collage with paint.
The culmination of these last 3 years can be seen in my work. Where once I painted to impress and was hindered by those limitations, now I paint to express and reap the freedom that gives me… and, judging by the interest in my work, it is much more impressive now than when I was trying to make it so!
I am overjoyed that my work is being exhibited at Manchester Cathedral. I am not a fan of art being stuffed away in galleries. I much prefer it to be out in the community, where real relationships are formed. Manchester Cathedral does much to support the community – even extending an olive branch to the LGBTQI community of which I belong – and contains glorious art old and new within its walls. I feel privileged that they deem my work suitable to be amongst such illustrious company!
Author Bio: Claire J Hornby is based in the north west of England. Using the cities, landscapes and the people of the region as inspiration for her art. She is currently studying for a formal degree in art. Her exhibition runs between 9th and 10th July 2016 at Manchester Cathedral.