Primary subject: flora and fauna
Other subjects: abstract
Clara Applewhaite - Mitchell is a Printmaker/Textile Artist, born in Trinidad, living in the New Jersey area, USA.
She thinks of herself first, as a native of the Caribbean and second, as a citizen of the world. She offers a lifetime experience in the Arts and has over 10 years experience in the Textile Industry with a strong background in Printmaking.
Her designs are bold, yet vivid, while they capture and interpret Caribbean, European, African and Native American themes- both past and present. The subject matter is portrayed with a simple boldness, paying attention to line and composition. She describes these designs as "wearable art" and executes them on various natural fibers.
At present, she uses silk because of its natural luminous quality, which brings each piece into a life of its own. Silk is also the fabric of choice, because of its soft "hand", luxurious drapability, and eternal beauty. The pieces may be worn throughout the year, or used as wall adornments in the home.
My recent work has been done on natural fibers: i.e. silk Habotai, crêpe de chine, satin, chiffon, cotton gauze and rayon. As a Textile Designer/Printmaker, I am always experimenting with different methods and techniques of these two fields, in an effort to create something new. Even though the results are sometimes not what I envision, they always lead me to a new direction... and that learning process, is worth its weight in gold!
Once the technique is mastered, silk has a natural economy and ease of manipulation. In other words:one wastes very little dye. The bulk of the work is in the planning.
I began my journey with silk painting, because of my yearning to create something West Indian amidst the cold temperature grays. Having been born and lived most of my life in a seaside country district, my themes are rooted in the flora, fauna and the myriad cultures of my Trinidadian home. These have always been a source of inspiration from the throbbing rhythms of the bongo drums, the roll of the tassa and steel drums that drive me to create, to respond, to design.
Fashion Institute of Technology. New York, New York.
Associates in Applied Science.
Major: Textile Design.
May 1988. Summa Cum Laude.
Howard University. Washington, D.C.
Bachelor of Fine Arts.
May 1987. Summa Cum Laude.
Valsayn Teachers College. Trinidad, W. I.
Diploma in Education.
July 1981. Distinction in Art.
Royal Academy of Dance. Trinidad, W. I.
AWARDS & EXHIBITONS
"Sensuous Silks II", solo show, High Square Atrium, High Square Condominiums, Port of Spain,
Trinidad, WI - 2007
"Sensuous Silks", one-person show, High Square Gallery, High Square Condominiums, Port of Spain, Trinidad, W. I. - 2006.
Emerging Artist Award, Peter's Valley juried art & craft show, NJ - 2005.
Special Talent Award, College of Fine Arts. Howard University, Washington, D. C. 1984 - 1987.
The Industrial Foundation Award.
Washington Chapter, Washington, D. C. - 1986.
Summer Scholarship to Haystack Mountain School
Deer Isle, ME. - 1986.
Trinidad and Tobago Government Scholarship in Art - 1983.
The Basics of Textile Design and Silk Painting, St Francois Girls' College, Belmont, Trinidad, W. I. Summer (two weeks) - 2007.
Photos from the "Nature Rhythms" Exhibition - Soft Box Studios, Trinidad - 7 - 13 July 2008