Artist Clara Adolphs

Anonymous faces and untold stories of old photographs find a voice in the works of New South Wales artist Clara Adolphs.

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When the work of Clara Adolphs arrived in an email from Andre at Gallery Ecosse I knew immediately I had to collect her extraordinary oil paintings.

Clara Adolphs’ work recreates anonymous old photographs collected from flea markets and newspaper clippings. She attributes her fascination with old photography to her father, who was an amateur photographer and an enthusiastic collector of photos. “I enjoy getting to know people I haven’t met before, through the process of painting them. By capturing isolated details and details of the past, my work explores the notion that moments are fleeting. Memories and photographs linger, but they are still just a speck in time.”

The artist’s seemingly effortless portraits are created using a combination of palette knife and brush coupled with a thick impasto technique, each painting telling a story that feels untold, a kind of poetic nostalgia. Her depiction of these intimate, anonymous and mundane moments from the historical everyday, immortalise them on canvas. “I like the fact that these moments in time happen and people forget about them, and that I can pick up an anonymous photograph and give this person life.”