As Caroline Villers Research Fellow for 2015-16, Claire Shepherd will be investigating the painting techniques of the post-war British painter Prunella Clough. Clough’s work blurs the boundaries between figuration and abstraction, with unpeopled and overlooked urban landscapes forming the starting point for her richly textured surfaces. Her materials included (but were by no means limited to) oil paint, sand, textiles and kitchen utensils, and were used in a variety of unconventional ways, such as building up layers of paint then scraping them back to reveal a surface akin to the peeling paint on a park bench. There is often an affinity between Clough’s subject and her methods of production, a theme that will be explored through the Fellowship. This talk will introduce the project, which will combine technical examination of paintings from The Courtauld Gallery and other collections with research into Clough’s extensive archive of studio notebooks.
Claire Shepherd graduated from The Courtauld with a Postgraduate Diploma in the Conservation of Easel Paintings in 2014. From 2014-15 she was a Postgraduate Research Associate in Paintings Conservation at the Yale Center for British Art, where she carried out conservation treatments and research into a group of 20th-century British paintings by artists including Prunella Clough, Keith Vaughan, Walter Sickert and LS Lowry.