Sue Clayton is a portrait artist with a vibrant colour palette and a social purpose. Inspired by children and adults with Down Syndrome – and especially by her energetic son, James – Sue once more seeks to celebrate and raise awareness in her exhibition, Downright Marvellous, At Large.
The original Downright Marvellous! (2015) exhibition mainly depicted young children who have Down Syndrome, but her new portraits feature what Clayton views as the ‘unrepresented and significant’ social presence of adults with Down Syndrome at work and at leisure. Clayton is drawn to the portrait because ‘it insists upon the idea that the more you look at a face, the more you see. Every single aspect – the eyelids, the nostrils, the complexion – reveals the personality and character of every individual person’. Her vision is especially important to represent those who are sometimes socially ‘unseen’.
Influenced by Rembrandt, York artist, William Etty, and more contemporary painters like Jenny Saville and Tim Benson, Clayton enjoys working with dynamic colours to make marks ‘that should not be there but somehow work’. As such, her approach to portraits not merely apprehends the likeness of her subjects, but their inner life too.
Jan 16th - Mar 21st 2020 - Pocklington Art Centre
Oct- Dec 2020 - James Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford
Jan - Mar 2021 - York Teaching Hospital