Clare Thackway is interested in the ways we perform and move our bodies through

spaces both literal and emotional. In her finely wrought portraits and figurative

paintings, the body becomes a language through which she contemplates moments

of universal human experience, from the emotional to the societal.

Thackway brings a fascination with psychological theories to her figures, considering

the ways in which the psyche and memory affect the ways in which we hold

ourselves. Her current body of work investigates ideas of performance and the role

of costume and drapery in mediating movement.

Thackway’s practice has been informed by her experience as a scenic painter and

her interest in human relationships, and the ways in which we affect each other, has

also been shaped by her work as an artist educator.

As a scenic painter, Thackway worked for Opera Australia from 2008 to 2010, and

for film and events in both Sydney and Berlin. As an artist educator, she has worked

on contemporary art education and public programs with a specific focus on working

with people with dementia and their families; people with lived experience of mental

health; and all ages with disability and access requirements. She has undertaken

program development, co-ordination and facilitation for organisations including

Wollongong Art Gallery, Casula Powerhouse, Australian National University and

Alzheimer’s Australia National. Since 2016 she has been an Artist Educator at the

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia and in 2017 worked as the MCA’s Art and

Dementia Program Coordinator.

Winner of the 2009 Marten Bequest Travelling Scholarship, Thackway is also a five -

times finalist in the prestigious Portia Geach Memorial Award, most recently in 2018

and Highly Commended in 2017. She has also been a finalist in the Helen Lempriere

Travelling Scholarship, the Blake Prize for Religious Art and, in 2018, both the Sir

John Sulman Prize at the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the Doug Moran

National Portrait Prize.

Thackway holds a Bachelor of Arts – Visual Painting from the Australian National

University and in 2006 she graduated from the National Art School Sydney with

Honours in Fine Art Painting. She has held solo exhibitions and group exhibitions at

galleries including Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, Wollongong Art Gallery,

Wellington Street Projects, Firstdraft, Canberra Contemporary Art Space, New

England Regional Art Museum and ANU School of Art, Canberra, amongst others.