Two years since her last solo exhibition, Claire is exhibiting again, with "FIREBREAK" opening in London on November 27th, 2018.
"I love fire and water. They are exciting and alive. They can also be completely devastating, and fighting fires was part of my childhood.
The Mumballup Fire Brigade was our local brigade. All locals were volunteer members. They had their meetings at the Mumballup Pub, and once a year a slightly more formal meeting at the Noggerup Hall to elect officers (the Captain, two Lieutenants and a Fire Control Officer). My father was Captain for many years and then later the Fire Control Officer.
There was no fire station or fire engines. All the farmers had a tractor with a water tank on the back and they bought water knapsacks.
They relied on themselves. The obvious answer to not being burnt out was to react quickly and put out fires as quickly as possible. Prevention, in the form of firebreaks, was a major part of it.
That is what this exhibition is about. It's about the actual fires. It's also about communities. And self reliance. Doing everything possible to prevent fires and being prepared when they do happen.
Everyone turns up to fight every fire. Sure, there is self interest involved. Let a fire get away and you might get burnt out yourself. You have to fight everyone else's fires if you expect them to come and fight yours. Fighting fires, and preparing for them, binds the community together.
My father passed away 3 years ago. He was proud that during his 25 year tenure as Captain, the Mumballup Fire Brigade did not lose a single house, or a life."