Finlay Clark (b. 1995, London) is an interdisciplinary artist, multi-instrumentalist and composer. Clark’s practice responds to their lifelong experience with synaesthesia of sound, colour, and touch.
Attending Alleyn’s School as an Art Scholar in 2007, Clark remained self-taught as a pianist and jazz guitarist, instead choosing to focus on studying violin. They performed at St. John’s Smith Square and undertook masterclasses with the Dante and Endymion quartets before graduating in 2013 with the Music prize, Intuitive Art prize and Painter-Stainers’ prize.
Clark relocated to Glasgow in 2013 to study Painting & Printmaking at The Glasgow School of Art (GSA), where they formed the three-piece collective Still House Plants with artists David Walker Kennedy and Jessica Hickie-Kallenbach. Still House Plants performed at Glasgow International as well as releasing two critically acclaimed EPs, which were awarded Wire magazine critic Frances Morgan’s ‘release of the year’. Clark undertook a study exchange at The School of The Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), where they studied Advanced Creative Writing under Mary Patten, Advanced Fibres and Textiles under Adjunct Professor of Fibre and Material Studies Fraser Taylor, Psychology of Rhythm under Bob Snyder and History of Documentary Cinema under Thomas Comerford, before returning to GSA to undertake a residency at The Pipe Factory with artist and dancer Nina Cavaciuti as well as graduate with the Essay Prize for their curatorial rationale. On return, Clark organised and curated an ambitious multi-disciplinary group exhibition in Havana, Cuba, funded by the Glasgow City Council’s Twin Cities program, British Embassy Havana and The Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA), as well as release Still House Plants’ Long Play LP. Still House Plants undertook the CCA/AC Projects Music Residency alongside artists Thomas Leyland-Collins and Tara Pattenden following graduation.
During the release of the acclaimed 12” Long Play LP on bison records in October 2018, the group were concurrently undertaking an ambitious six-month residency at Cafe OTO as recipients of the OTO Projects UK Artists Residency Fund, (supported by Jerwood Arts) which included collaborations with artists such as Mette Rasmussen and Berlin-based dancer Shade Théret. Long Play featured in several Best of 2018 lists, including Low Company, The Wire, and KRAAK, as well as prompting the group to be interviewed for The Wire (January 2019) and receive international airplay on stations such as NTS radio and BBC Radio 3. In 2019 the group performed at UH Fest (Budapest), Empty Gallery (Hong Kong), Galeria Zé dos Bois (Lisbon), Sonascopia (Porto), various venues in Santiago (Chile, with Creative Scotland) and performed at Hyperlocal festival (with NTS and British Council) in Buenos Aires. 2020 sees the trio record a new 12” set to be released on Blank Forms (US) and bison (UK) as well as performing at CANICAS (Oaxaca), Counterflows (Glasgow, as Featured Artists), Gavin Brown’s Enterprise (New York City, with Blank Forms) and Tokyo (with 33-33/MODE and British Council).
Clark enrolled in the summer school at The Performing Arts Research and Training School (PARTS) in Brussels in both 2018 and 2019, where they studied the choreography of Steve Reich’s ‘Drumming’ (1998), ballet, and various other contemporary dance practices. Clark has also worked in collaboration with Scottish interdisciplinary artist Ailie Ormston on a contemporary-classical record set to be released in late 2020. The idea began as an initial response to the Anni Albers retrospective at the Tate Modern, whereby Clark and Ormston began to translate her methodology of textile-making into sampling and melodic structure. The piece has been ‘composed’ in a similar way to how one would create a painting ‘composition’. This music has been transposed and expanded to string quartet and will be performed by the Maconchy Quartet alongside pieces by Jennifer Walshe and Elizabeth Maconchy. Clark and Ormston received The Francis Chagrin Award (Sound and Music) in 2019.
Clark’s written work has appeared in Yes & No magazine and Blank Forms journal.
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