Much of my work is part of ongoing investigations into the changing nature of space. Previous works have focused upon “spaces once occupied”, voids, bomb craters, locations of historical events and situations. Now in this new work the gaze has shifted to a more specific frozen moment, such as the erasing of space via a scrutiny of matter itself. Many of these events and moments are simple representations of the demolition of UXO’s in the Indochina region’ For many years I have studied particles, atoms and molecules by recording the demolition of unexploded ordinances (UXO’s) along the Vietnam- Laos border ‘The Ho Chi Minh Trail’. Within an Australian context these simple elements, act as metaphors for human entities, personal lives and the greater cosmos. This research investigates the molecular structure of things; this DNA building block methodology of constructing artwork unashamedly exploits repetition and reductio-ad-absurdum as an acceptable, comfortable and familiar aesthetic.
Temporarily based in Kununurra, East Kimberley’s WA since September 2011, my research has demanded that I work and learn from the First Australian Landscape Artists. I have been a landscape artist for as long as I can remember. My time in the East Kimberley’s has facilitated a dialogue with Indigenous Artists and their relationship with Country. Whilst my approach is rich with the influ- ences of Post-Colonial Landscape traditions from W C Piguenit, Von Gué rard, Glover, etc through to Williams, Booth, Wolfhagen and so on I have no right nor claim to be a dot dot painter, although it is said my molecules have some reference, I believe is only as ‘landscape’ on another dimension. I will be returning to live in South East Asia in 2014 after my research with the Indigenous Aboriginal Artists of remote far north Western Australia is complete.
From the series “Fictional Cosmologies & Molecular Landscapes” the work celebrates our planet and our humanity. With water as our most treasured resource, this work examines our Planet, our home, our future, and more importantly, our Environmental Responsibility, theories of Climate Change, Carbon Footprints and Sustainability. This work takes its motivation from recent global cli- matic events and thereby addresses concepts of vulnerability, uncertainty and personal holocausts i.e. cyclone, flood, earthquake, tsunami and bushfire. For many years my work has focused on the following premise;
‘’The correct distance between objects is critical, whether that distance is physical, cultural or emotional. Two objects too close to each other become one, two objects too far apart no longer relate to each other’’
‘On the surface, Glen Clarke fabricates large objects out of small multiples. As Dr David Hansen put it so well, though a device which he calls ‘serial accumulation’, Glen Clarke has for well over a decade ‘applied this device to a variety of forms…: 14,000 clothes pegs to make a stack of plumbing pipes from the back of a builders truck, questioning gender associations of particular utilitarian objects; 5,500 wooden school rulers to make a dingy for convicts and refugees school rulers symbolizing ‘The Tyranny of Distance’: 5,000 pairs of chopsticks to make three tyres.
Glen Clarke has brilliantly fused together the manufactured feel of Deconstruction with the emo- tions of Asia and holds it all together with what I call an ‘Australian Boundary Rider’ aesthetic. He has recently become fascinated- in a very human rather than military way- with explosions, particularly those caused by cluster bombs and landmines in Vietnam, Laos, Iraq and Africa.’
Glen Clarke was the winner of the last National Australian Sculpture Prize in 2005, since then he has exhibited widely throughout Australia and South East Asia.