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Claire Anscomb

Photography by Jason Dodd

Claire is an artist and philosopher. She completed her BA in Fine Art at the Winchester School of Art in 2014, following which she undertook both her MA and PhD degrees in History and Philosophy of Art at the University of Kent. She completed her PhD in 2019 with her doctoral thesis entitled 'On the Significance of Automaticity in Image-Making Practices'. She was the 2021-22 recipient of the British Society of Aesthetics Postdoctoral Award for her project, 'Creating Images with AI', which she worked on in the Philosophy Department at the University of Liverpool. Since September 2022, she has worked as a Lecturer in Fine Art at De Montfort University.

Through her artistic work, Claire explores themes surrounding visibility and the diverse application of this concept in art and contemporary culture. This is manifested in the construction of meticulous drawings that tackle subjects ranging from "invisible illness" to practices surrounding the visual representation of personal identity, memory, and culture, such as the representation of women in public sculpture, and to the hidden world of artist's studios and the agents who are crucial to their creative output. In particular, she uses drawing as a tool with which to simulate the appearance, and thereby challenge the dominance in thinking, of photography as an objective medium through which different places, people, and events are made visible to us. This labour-intensive process additionally lends itself to further meaning, as the additive process reflects the way narrative is constructed. The results of this evidently long undertaking are also intended to encourage attentive and slow looking – a mode of reception which is often at odds with the way we process the subjects of these drawings. Using this technique to a variety of ends, Claire has produced installations, and is now developing a body of photographic and digital work that addresses the use of algorithms in apps designed to beautify individuals with the aim to make these intangible processes and their effects on the processes of image production and reception visible.

In her philosophical work, Claire works primarily in aesthetics. Her research focuses on issues pertaining to creativity, art production, and medium-specificity. In particular, she is interested in questions that arise around "automatic", or labour-saving, ways to produce images, such as photography. Alongside her research activities, Claire teaches Foundation Art and Design, and works as an Art History and Drawing Tutor. Previously, she worked as a Graduate Teaching Assistant at the University of Kent where she taught on modules including: 'Drawing: History and Practice' and 'Introduction to Aesthetics'. She also edits the peer-reviewed journal Debates in Aesthetics.

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