Final project paints picture of family farming

18 June 2018

Student shines light on farming industry through artwork

A mature student from West Lancashire is using her final year project to raise awareness of issues affecting the UK farming industry.

Claire Molyneux, 51, will graduate with a degree in fine art at the end of the month and wanted her work to reflect family farming, in particular small farming businesses which struggle to keep up with the demands of the industry.

Claire, a mother of seven, grew up on a farm and now lives in Bickerstaffe with husband Paul, who runs a family farming business with his brother Jimmy and their father. Paul’s sister also works on the farm, with additional support from Claire’s children outside of school term.

Claire said: “My project, ‘Family Farming’ is about a real, current situation and I wanted to capture this moment in time because it is a vision of the present at a time when our future is uncertain.

“Farming is becoming increasingly hard to sustain in today’s climate and it’s not just a job, it’s a way of life for my family. It was important that I captured these images of the farm as we don’t know what our future holds, and I think a lot of people within the industry can relate to this.”

"UCLan has given me a platform to share my life experiences and develop my skills."

Claire used an array of oil paints and layering techniques to create a dripping effect, resulting in a dramatic feel to her artwork.

After carrying out research and taking inspiration from artists such as Anne Hardy and Michael Andrews, Claire implemented a ‘bleakness’ into her artwork which has created a unique effect to her project.

She said: “After achieving a level two diploma and a foundation diploma at Liverpool Community College, UCLan was recommended to me by my tutors due to its outstanding reputation and I definitely made the right decision.

“UCLan has given me a platform to share my life experiences and develop my skills. I started out painting portraiture style artwork and have progressed to creating landscapes. I am now fascinated by colour, the change in season and machinery which has inspired my work drastically.”

Claire intends to continue using her artistic skills after graduation by entering her artwork into local viewing networks across the north west.

Claire’s designs will be on display at UCLan’s Preston campus from Friday 15 to Friday 22 June as part of the Lancashire Arts Festival Degree Show.