Declan Clarke was born in Dublin in 1974. He studied at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin, and Chelsea College of Arts, London. He works predominately in the medium of film, but has worked frequently with other media throughout the last 15 years. His films reflect on everyday experiences and contrast these with grand narratives and explorations of the historical edifices of political power.
In 2012 Declan was shortlisted to represent Ireland at the 2013 Venice Biennale. In 2013, he co-curated Cornerhouse’s international exhibition, Anguish and Enthusiasm: What Do You Do With Your Revolution Once You’ve Got it?, with Sarah Perks, HOME’s Artistic Director of Visual Art. Declan has also presented solo exhibitions at Tromsø Kunstforening, Norway and The Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin. His film The Most Cruel of all Goddesses was presented at HOME’s opening exhibition, The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things in 2014.
Q & A
What’s your earliest memory of participating in the arts?
Drawing as a child. I always drew a lot and loved it. My mother still has the first drawing I made of a recognisable object, which was a cowboy boot. That would seem to indicate that watching westerns also had an early impact.
Who has been the biggest influence on your career?
So many people have had such a huge influence and been so very supportive, so this is impossible to answer. I feel very lucky to have had the support that I’ve had in becoming an artist from my parents, siblings, schoolmates, college tutors, fellow art students, fellow artists, ex-partners, my current partner, curators, writers and arts institutions. I gained much invaluable support and influence from all of them. On the downside, my nephew recently told me that my latest film was boring. He’s four, and pretty astute.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
It’s more of an observation and was made by my maternal grandmother who was also pretty astute: You make your own luck.
Which cultural figure would you most like to take out for a pie and a pint?
Right now, without question, Friedrich Engels, and it would be for more than one of each.