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Claire Barclay

Claire Barclay Open Wide
Exhibition 7 February – 12 April 2009

This Spring exhibition was a major solo exhibition of work by Claire Barclay, a Scottish artist known for work which takes the form of highly crafted sculptural objects brought together into precisely plotted relationships.

It featured newly commissioned work shown in the context of objects made over the course of her career, the exhibition offered an opportunity to trace the development of the artist’s singular sculptural language. Barclay’s work typically takes the form of a built structure, on and around which she hangs, props, balances and suspends diverse forms made in turned wood, tooled metal, cut and stitched leather and printed textiles.  While not exactly site-specific, the work nevertheless responded to the space in which it is shown, and Barclay’s primary mode of working is to finish each piece in situ, treated the Gallery as a studio in which to complete the final form of her sculptures. She has described making exhibitions as a ‘pause in an ongoing process’, as each work develops a growing vocabulary of forms, some of which repeat from one sculpture to another, connecting work made in separate places.

The Fruitmarket Gallery’s exhibition of Claire Barclay’s work aimed to present the range of her practice, balancing work made, as is her prevailing method, specially for the Gallery, with a selection of objects made throughout her career and recognisable from previous showings. This distinguished the exhibition from all previous showings of Barclay’s work. The exhibition is accompanied by a substantial publication which will extend the range of the work in the Gallery, discussing and documenting all of Claire Barclay’s major installations.

Claire Barclay Exhibition Guide

Claire Barclay Webfilm

Talks and Events

Artist’s Talk
Claire Barclay in conversation with Sam Ainsley, artist and senior lecturer, founder and former Head of the MFA programme, Glasgow School of Art.

Link to further recordings – link needed 

Related items

Exhibition Poster

This poster was designed by The Fruitmarket Gallery to support the Claire Barclay Open Wide exhibition which ran from 7 February – 12 April 2009.

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Exhibition DVD

An interpretation film featuring Claire Barclay discussing her exhibition Openwide which ran from 7 February – 12 April 2009 at The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh.


Fruitmarket Gallery Publication

Claire Barclay Openwide Book Cover

Claire Barclay is a Scottish arist known for large-scale installations consisting of collections of sculptural objects brought together into precisely plotted relationships. Combining craft and machine-finished processes, and both everyday and precious materials. Barclay’s art is precariously balanced between function and dysfunction, understanding and bafflement.


Artist's Edition : A Life Livelier, 2009

This screenprint is part of a series ‘A Life Livelier’, exhibited in the Claire Barclay exhibition Openwide.