Creative Director- Claire Wearn

Claire Wearn works free lance as a creative director. Her work is project based and her role is to find creative solutions to bring projects into actuality. She supports the project throughout its evolution, from idea to execution, working closely with artists and technicians.

Projects can be of varying length, and each brings its own, unique challenges. The variety within the job is something that really appeals to me. She worked on a project with Martin Parr to archive the Black Country. The industries there still worked according to traditional manufacturing and production methods. The project bought challenges in figuring out ‘how do you archive a specific place at a specific time?’ They decided to photograph a range of social occasions from weddings to funerals, domestic homes, the oldest factories and the newest factories. The project was displayed in the community art gallery in the form of a wall of small prints. It was displayed in this way because it was important to the creators that everyone in the community was represented on the wall.

Early on in her career Claire realised the value of art in community. She’s interested in making more space for art and making it more accessible to people. This could include displaying the work in public spaces (such as billboards and shop windows,) or working with people who wouldn’t consider themselves artists. She worked on a project with David Goldblatt called ‘Ex-offenders.’ This was a collaboration with prisoners. The prisoners would return to the location of their crime and have their portrait taken. She expressed how her role for this project involved a lot of relationship management between the prison, prisoners, photographer and the photographic company. The project was exhibited in prisons. Logistics concerning the installation of the prints needed problem solving- you weren’t allowed any sharp objects, such as frame corners and nails.

I found Claire’s talk very engaging. The projects she described felt like a rewarding application of photography, they lacked commercial gain and didn’t have a capitalist agender. It’s interesting to hear how you can be innovative in the creative field, without being the artist. I like the idea of being a facilitator and a collaborator, as opposed to having a solo photographic practice. Working on such diverse projects, and for the whole duration of projects, would meet my need for variation in a job.

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