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Claire Milner lives and works between North Yorkshire and Rome. Her practice spans across painting, digital technologies, crystal methodologies, collage and illustration. Known for her celebrated Swarovski crystal mosaic portraits, most notably Blue Marilyn (2011) commissioned by the pop singer Rihanna, Milner’s most recent work combines an interest in science and the natural environment to discuss issues around climate change and mass extinction, concerns which have been at the centre of her work for more than two decades.
In her Anima Mundi series, Milner uses her own photographs, images sourced from environmental news reports, as well as mythological images from classical literature, to create densely layered compositions of exotic flora and fauna. Source imagery is initially assembled as a digital collage then translated onto canvas in complex semi-transparent layers which act as metaphors for the human impact on the world’s fragile ecosystems. Paint skins, handmade papers and passages of text act like camouflage, revealing and concealing images of endangered animal species and vulnerable habitats. Shifting between abundance and loss, abstraction and figuration, chaos and order, metaphoric and literal, Milner’s work disrupts the long tradition of animal paintings in the history of Western art.
Claire Milner's work is represented in numerous important private collections, including the collections of Rihanna, the actress Joanna Lumley and the Amy Winehouse Foundation. Her work has been shown in museum exhibitions across the UK including at Ripon Cathedral, York Minster, Corinium Museum, the Canal Museum, and Harrods.
Milner has been the recipient of numerous awards including Oceanic Global x Alpha'a Artivism Challenge (2017) and 1ST ARTSLANT Prize Showcase (2018). She works closely with several wildlife charities including the Born Free Foundation and is an artist member of the Gallery Climate Coalition which develops the tools, strategies, and research required to help make a positive change in relation to the carbon footprint of the art industry.