Claerwen James

Claerwen Laura James (born October 1970)[1] is a British painter.

Early lifeEdit

Girl in Red and White against Blue, 2012, Oil on board
Girl 2, Red, White, 2010, Monotype

James is the daughter of the Australian author Clive James and his wife, the scholar Prue Shaw.[2] James studied zoology at the University of Oxford.[3]

She went on to conduct postgraduate research on the molecular biology of programmed cell death (apoptosis) in the Biochemistry of the Cell Nucleus Laboratory at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund and completed a PhD. During this time she was a visiting researcher at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory on Long Island, in the US.[citation needed]


James specialises in portraiture, particularly of young people, painted from photographs rather than live sittings.[4]

James began painting during her undergraduate studies.[5] Following the completion of her academic studies, she decided to revert to her original passion for art[6] and between 1999 and 2003 enrolled on a painting course at the Slade School of Art.[6] Graduating in 2003, James achieved a first class degree, and was awarded the Melvill Nettleship Prize for Figure Composition.[7] From 2003 to 2004 she continued her studies at the Prince's Drawing School after obtaining a graduate bursary.[8]

James has been represented by the Flowers Central Gallery since 2006, with solo shows in London in 2006, 2008, and 2013. She had her debut at Flowers, New York in 2010.[9] Her work is held in the permanent collections of the Scheringa Museum of Realist Art in Spanbroek, in the Netherlands, and the University of Cambridge.[citation needed]

As well as painting, James produces prints, utilising techniques that include block-printing and hand-stencilled silk screening.[10] She is one third of design partnership, Cambridge Imprint, where she has designed decorative patterns for the sleeves for Persephone Books,[11] and collaborated with heritage shoe brand Grenson[12] on a new printed design shoe.[13]


  • Claerwen James [Catalogue of the exhibition held at Flowers 21 May– 26 June 2010] New York.
  • Claerwen James [Catalogue of the exhibition held at Flowers 13 February– 16 March 2013] London.


  1. ^ "Index entry". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 28 March 2020.
  2. ^ Vanessa Thorpe (10 February 2013). "Claerwen James: The art of being Clive James's daughter". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  3. ^ Claerwen James – Biography,
  4. ^ "Clive James' daughter: From zoologist to artist at Flowers Gallery | Q&A". What's On? By Country & Town House Magazine. 24 March 2015. Retrieved 14 April 2018.
  5. ^ "Claerwen James at Flowers Gallery - Positive Magazine". Positive Magazine. 10 March 2013. Retrieved 14 April 2018.
  6. ^ a b Nick Curtis (28 February 2013). "My father is frail but he will be with us for some time - he has a very healthy ego". Evening Standard. Retrieved 14 April 2018.
  7. ^ David Buckman (2006). Artists in Britain Since 1945 Vol 1, A to L. Art Dictionaries Ltd. ISBN 0 953260 95 X.
  8. ^ "Claerwen James | The Royal Drawing School". The Royal Drawing School. Retrieved 14 April 2018.
  9. ^ British Artist Claerwen James Debuts Her Work in NYC at Flowers
  10. ^ "THREE IS THE MAGIC NUMBER". Selvedge Magazine. Retrieved 14 April 2018.
  11. ^ "The Persephone Letter". 1 July 2015. Retrieved 14 April 2018.
  12. ^ "Grenson | British designer shoes handmade for men & women since 1866". Retrieved 14 April 2018.
  13. ^ "Grenson Shoes collaborates with Persephone Books, Lamb's Conduit Street". Retrieved 14 April 2018.

External linksEdit