My name is Clare Bryden, and I’ve lived in St Loyes since 2003.
I came down to Exeter because I was working at the time for the Met Office. I in 2009 left to go freelance, and after a couple of years set up a website development company. The art came a bit later, and grew out of my interest in caring for the environment and some activism with a friend aiming at ensuring the Exeter Incinerator is operated properly.
You can find out more about me on my website at clarebryden.co.uk.
Why St Loyes?
I’ve been playfully exploring St Loyes and Exeter for a number of years, its history, geography, biodiversity, archaeology, and myth – some invented! In September 2013, as part of the Unexpected Exeter festival, I put on a safari concert in the local roads named after English composers. I’ve written about this and my explorations on my blog.
In 2016, the Exeter City Council wards were reorganised. I realised that St Loyes was a real mish-mash of council housing, suburbia, industrial estate, business park and M5 services, and it had no identity like, for example, Heavitree. So I talked to Digby Community Association and self-designated as St Loyes’ Artist in Residence. I’m hoping that we can use art to find out more about St Loyes, and nurture a sense of place and community here.
The blurb about my wider art practice…
My interests are primarily in how human beings affect and are affected by the natural world of which we are part, and the related theology and psychology of connectedness. My creative practice springs from my desire to communicate environmental and social issues, my need for hope and energy in keeping on keeping on, and my habit of making connections and finding patterns.
My environmental art often takes data visualisation into whole new areas.
I used flood risk data from the Environment Agency in “Green|Blue” to question our knowledge and power in the face of uncertainty and the force of nature.
I have created card games about greenhouse gases; and a series of “Little colouring books of climate mindfulness” using UK Climate Projections data. “Freefall Climate Graffiti” turned UK Climate Projections into a street art project in partnership with an Exeter youth group.
Then there is knitting. For “Particulart: The art of chemistry, knitting and gentle protest”, I knit molecules: air pollution from incinerators, greenhouse gases, vehicle exhausts, and stratospheric ozone depletion chemistry. I created “Ghost Bees” out of knitted plastic bags and milk cartons to highlight colony collapse disorder and species extinction.
My background is in science, economics, energy and the environment, including employment at Cambridge Econometrics as well as the Met Office. I am a Resident at Kaleider in Exeter, and a member of the art.earth+CCANW network, Visual Arts South West, and a-n. I am also an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Exeter. All is grist to my mill.