Clare Longley, Swollen atoms of a bond, 31 March—22 April, 2023
Clare Longley, Swollen atoms of a bond, installation view, ReadingRoom, Melbourne, 2023
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Wounds Increase Me

There are words I have repeated

Revving in the background

Union would be annihilating

Pathway, habit, addiction, break

Loosen, open

The roof of love into heavens theatre

Baroque adjustments

I’m stuck on the word pathological, I’m tempted

Daughters of daughters

Splitting after follows


Are you obsessed

With effort


Are we talking about choice

No communication between individuals but between atoms

Difference, actually, hating that word

To receive copies and make deviation

Playful and humorous or

Trying to compensate

Elaborate support system of straightness

Deviation is made hard

We are directed

Glass of water as a pop culture staple

My throat is dry but I’ll try

Unable to control part of the —

Repetition builds paths breaks paths

How love makes habits, how love breaks them, how love errs

Mere reflex

Someone called me moldable the other day

I was technically in charge

Mold-able charge

Love takes form or explodes form

How can that be cliché

I can leave sideways off the stairs

The flowers falling

What do you notice when you fall in love

Protecting is the antonym of

I would be thrilled if they were even beautiful

—Nat Briggs


Nat Briggs is a poet who lives in Naarm/Melbourne. They are a Creative Practice PhD Candidate at RMIT, and the author of Who Loves At All (Rabbit Poetry, 2020). They are the author of the self published zines i was kneeling in her (2017) and the burial is polite (2014).



Clare is interested in how clichés can be repositioned, such that they may be encountered anew. Working with the mercurial medium of painting, she plays with different modes of mark-making, compositional relationships, and symbolic configurations in pursuit of a more careful understanding of creativity, love, and the incoherence that makes them.


Clare Longley is an artist based in Narrm/Melbourne. She completed a Bachelor of Fine Art at Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne (2014) and has since graduated from the Master of Fine Art program at Monash University, Melbourne (2021), where she wrote a thesis titled Three Routes Through Painting the Cliché. Recent solo and duo exhibitions include Exhaust, or, Dagmar Bosma (NL) & Clare Longley, Flippy’s, Melbourne (2023); Garden series with boundaries, ReadingRoom (2020); Watch and thee, absent another, Bus Projects, Melbourne (2019); Adult Lullabies, Daine Singer, Melbourne (2017); and Thanks for Having Me, Blindside Gallery, Melbourne (2017). Curatorial projects include Smoke Screens, LON Gallery, Melbourne (2018); Massage Therapy, KINGS Artist-Run, Melbourne (2017); and We Make Memories, Seventh Gallery, Melbourne (2017). Selected group exhibitions include Potential Space, Kennard’s Self Storage Facility, Sydney (2019); MADA Now, Monash Art, Design & Architecture Gallery, Melbourne (2018); and The Wizard of Oz: An Updated Classic, Secret Project Robot, Brooklyn, NY (2017). Clare recently undertook a residency at Fremantle Art Centre, Fremantle (2022) and is working toward a duo exhibition with David Egan at NAP Contemporary, Mildura (2023). 


Further Reading


Preview: Clare Longley on love, actually more complicated by Autumn Royal