Clare Thornton

Laura Ashley Foundation Residency Award

Hetherington Creative Units, Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Wales

May – July 2011

During the residency I developed the participatory gallery project ‘Material Matters’ and studio works around fragile materials and The Fold.

A key part of the Laura Ashley Foundation’s support for my residency at Aberystwyth Arts Centre was to encourage local engagement with my practice. With the aim of creating the right conditions for that engagement I developed Materials Matters – a social, participatory installation in the gallery space which I hosted from 28th May-9th June with collaborative support from Aberystwyth based artist Ali Matthews, who is a Ph.D. student at the University and researching participatory performance and relational practices.


Material Matters was an invitation to join in.
A way of opening up of a creative research process.
Material Matters was curious about people’s interaction with each other, their physical and emotional relationship with objects and with place or context/situation.

The proposition was to create a 3D landscape of Aberystwyth, an emotional, biographical landscape shaped through the objects shared with me by local residents. A shifting, sculptural installation transformed daily by the participants active contribution and transactions with the artists and the objects displayed.

I also produced a film work ‘A Heightened Sense of Making’ which was screened in The Box, Aberystwyth Arts Centre in October 2012. More information about this residency award can be found here.