Claudia Clayman grew up in Malta, and moved to London to study nursing. Just over a year ago, she started experimenting with fabric and is now working as a textile artist. She is a wife and mother, and loves entertaining, baking, word games, dancing… and fabric.
When and how did you get started?
I grew up surrounded by fabric, as my dad had a textile manufacturing firm, and started sewing my own clothes in my late teens. I continued sewing, mainly making soft furnishings for the house, but I finally got time to pursue my interest in fabric when I retired from my nursing career. I’m not quite sure how I developed my collage technique of creating pictures from bits of fabric, but one year on I have a portfolio of over 50 paintings. I use preloved materials, such as clothes and scarves, and unwanted fabric and lace samples, which are then stitched in place by hand or sewing machine, and sometimes embellished with embroidery. From afar, my work looks like it’s been painted but there is no paint involved. I love the fact that each piece contains fabric which holds special memories for me.
What genre do you consider your work to be?
My work so far can be described as representational seascapes and landscapes, mainly Maltese scenery.
Describe your work in 10 words or less.
Vibrant textile art, recycled fabric, texture, unique
Where was your first exhibition held?
November 2019 in London, as part of the Finchley Art Society annual Art Fair, and March 2020 in Malta – Celebrating Women co-operative exhibition at Wignacourt Museum, Rabat.
Do you have a favourite from among your own artworks? If so, why?
I cannot say I have one particular favourite, although I am very drawn to my seascapes especially those depicting Gozo salt pans.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m experimenting with creating portraits using mainly stitching and incorporating coloured fabric for emphasis.
Which artist’s work are you most inspired by?
I admire Sue Stone, a textile stitch artist, and Louise O’Hara, a mixed media textile artist. Having said that, my technique is completely different from both of them.
If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
A cake maker
What is the epitome of happiness for you?
Sharing a Cassatella Siciliana and Baci cake with my husband, whilst gazing at the scenic view from Mdina bastions.
What do you love about Malta?
I love the countryside and Malta’s amazing sea and ever-changing coastline.
What do you hate about Malta?
Humidity in summer and cold houses in winter.
Favourite colour and what it means to you?
Turquoise. It reminds me of the sea and gives me a feeling of being carefree.
And finally, what is Claudia Clayman’s favourite indulgence?
Spending a Saturday evening and/or Sunday afternoon dancing with my husband to our favourite rock and roll/swing numbers.