User:Tidworth56/Clarissa Upchurch

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Clarissa Upchurch (born 1949) is a British artist.


Clarissa Upchurch was born in China, to a missionary family. In her childhood she moved between England and Malaysia. She was trained as an artist at Sheffield, Harrow and Norwich Schools of Art, working on large-scale landscapes and cityscapes, as well as in abstraction.

In 1970 she married the poet George Szirtes and they had two children, Tom and Helen. Her work in the 1980s was mostly in black and white, the subjects often derelict local places. From the mid-seventies into the mid-eighties she was co-proprietor of The Starwheel Press, that printed and published collaborations between poets and artists. As time went she undertook ever more of the press work. At the same time she was producing illustrations and book jackets for various publishers. After her first visit to Hungary in 1984 she began to concentrate on the city of Budapest, first on its courtyards and doorways, and later on the elevations. Her work was not so much topographic as dramatic: buildings haunted by history. She produced drawings, paintings, pastels and prints. More recently she has been examining the streets of the city, with its traffic of cars and pedestrians, as in still frames of a moving film, a kind of unwritten film noir employing a story-board of undefined incidents. Her art has been moving beyond Budapest to other cities and to figures in motion.

Selected Exhibitions[edit]

  • 1986 Broken Light: one woman show at Hitchin Museum
  • 1987 Cleveland International Drawing Biennale
  • 1991 Tenements and Towers: one woman show of Budapest material at the Cheltenham Festival of Literature
  • 1993 Shadow Palaces: one woman show at the National History Museum, Budapest
  • 1998 International Print Fair in New York, US
  • 2000 City Narratives, at RIAS Gallery, Edinburgh
  • 2000 Good Drawing, at Boundary Gallery, London (mixed show)
  • 2000 Taylor’s Gallery, Dublin (mixed show)
  • 2001 London Art Fair, Royal College of Art
  • 2001 Chelsea Art Fair, London
  • 2002 Inside/Outside two woman show Boundary Gallery North London
  • 2003 Art London Design Centre Islington
  • 2003 Battersea Art Fair, London
  • 2004 Art London, Design Centre, Islington
  • 2005 Landscape 200 Castle Museum Norwich
  • 2005 Cityscapes, Retrospectives Gallery, Stratford-upon-Avon
  • 2006 Budapest - Poem, Image, Film, Hungarian Culture Centre London
  • 2007 Eastern Open Group show Kings Lynn - Drawing Prize
  • 2007 Taylor Gallery Dublin - Group Show
  • 2008 Cities - Boundary Gallery
  • 2008 Celebrating Palladio - Plusone Gallery, London - Group Show
  • 2009 Cities, Landscapes, Wrestlers - Becket's Chapel Arts Center, Norfolk
  • 2010 Open Studios Show, Becket's Chapel Arts Centre, Norfolk

Literature and Publications[edit]

  • 1993 City Lights: The Art of Clarissa Upchurch, Mozgó Világ (Hungary)
  • 1993 Shadow Palaces: The Budapest Drawings of Clarissa Upchurch, Victor Határ, Budapest Historical Museum
  • 1993 British Contemporary Art 1993 (Galliardi)
  • 2000 City Visions: The Lost Movies of Clarissa Upchurch, Modern Painters
  • 2002 Inside/Outside - catalogue essay
  • 2006 Budapest: Image, Poem, Film (with Poem and Essay by George Szirtes), Publisher: Corvina, Budapest


  • 1990 First Prize in Gainsborough’s House, Drawing for All competition
  • 2000 Joint first prize: Drawing for All, Gainsborough’s House. Touring exhibition.

External Links[edit]