Clare Longley, Library Arrangement, 5 August–3 September, 2022
Love knots, 2022, oil on canvas, 102 × 76 cm
mmm...other, 2021, oil on canvas, 35 × 40.5 cm
Repetitive gestures III, 2020–2022, oil on canvas, 102 × 76 cm
, previous, next.

FLASH—instant of time or of dream without time; in-ordinately swollen atoms of a bond, a vision, a shiver, a yet formless, unnamable embryo. Epiphanies. Photos of what is not yet visible and that language necessarily skims over from afar, allusively. Words that are always too distant, too abstract for this underground swarming of seconds, folding in unimaginable spaces. Writing them down is an ordeal of discourse, like love. What is loving, for a woman, the same thing as writing. Laugh. Impossible. Flash on the unnamable, weavings of abstractions to be torn. Let a body venture at last out of its shelter, take a chance with meaning under a veil of words. WORD FLESH. From one to the other, eternally, broken up visions, metaphors of the invisible.

—Julia Kristeva, Stabat Mater, 1977


On view in the ReadingRoom library are three paintings by Clare Longley, made during a stretch of transitional time called recent. Each work has come to life independently, connected by gestures and forms that emerge from different subject matter yet vibrate collaboratively like paths across each of the canvases. Alongside the paintings, Clare has displayed a selection of books from her own collection, which continue to weave in and out of her studio research, as well as some from the ReadingRoom library.

Clare is interested in how visual clichés can be repositioned, such that they may be encountered anew. Working primarily in painting, which expands into writing, she plays with different modes of mark making, compositional relationships, and narrative configurations in pursuit of a more careful understanding of creativity, love, and the incoherence that makes them.



Living and working in Narrm/Melbourne, Clare recently graduated with First Class Honours from the Master of Fine Art program at Monash University, Melbourne (2021) where she wrote a thesis titled Three Routes Through Painting the Cliché.