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5 Creative Questions with… Claire Engkaninan Low

Updated: Oct 15, 2023

Yes, I am interviewing myself. No, not because I ran out of people who would like to take questions. This blog post is because I have just found out I am a finalist for the National Emerging Art Prize this year, a huge honour. The other painters’ work looks phenomenal. In particular, the gloomy rural Australian gothic appeal of Suxing Zhang’s painting speaks to me. Other artists I know who have been in the NEAP include Roxy Xie and Hop Dac, two artists and friends whose work I admire so much – who have both encouraged me on my own journey.

Me with my artwork All Monsters Are Real

I am the seventh in my series of creatives to take five questions.

When my creative process is stuck, I reach for… my pencil. Chances are if a painting isn’t working, there’s a problem with the underlying drawing and I need to draw it again.

The weirdest thing about being a creative human is… the stuff I hoard because it might be useful for an artwork one day. This is why I brought 45 wooden offcuts home from Japan along with four pieces of scrap leather.

The most unusual object in my house is... my Bleeding Edge Goths, or BeGoths. These are 2000s fashion dolls complete with metal piercings, tattoos, contact lenses and gothic clothing.

I celebrate my achievements by... acquiring wearable trophies. I commissioned a Millie June ring with some of the prize money from the Reused/Recycled Materials Award in the Reimagine Art Prize this year. I’ll spend the rest of the money on art education.

Something in the world that already exists that I wish I had created is... any of the hand-drawn Studio Ghibli films; they are so astonishing. Or Flaming June by Sir Frederic Leighton – the only painting I’ve seen that possesses so much beauty that when I stare at it, I get a little teary.

Claire Low / Claire Engkaninan Low’s paintings can be seen in the following exhibitions:

Little Things Art Prize – Saint Cloche Gallery, Paddington, Sydney – 27 September – 8 October 2023.

Hornsby Art Prize – Wallarobba Arts and Cultural Centre, Hornsby, Sydney – 20 October – 5 November 2023.

National Emerging Art Prize – Michael Reid Art Bar, Pyrmont, Sydney 1 – 13 November 2023.

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