Researching Prunella Clough’s paintings and working methods allowed me to develop and free up my own practice. I discovered that my way of documenting through 100 drawings is similar to her own; Clough would use written descriptions of a place and sets of brief linear sketches as a starting point for her paintings. Throughout her career Clough’s paintings find beauty in industrial scenes and details of landscapes. Her earlier works are social realism but gradually became more focused on abstract qualities. The artist has stated that she sees all of her work as landscapes, even if they are more abstract or focused on specific detail such as Rockery (1963). I also found similarity with my practice because the artist liked to walk through the places she painted because “‘the sense of place is crucial for me and involves sensations other than the purely optical ones of observation.” (Clough in Tufnell 2007, p.43).
Researching Prunella Clough’s paintings helped me to generate a body of work in a short space of time, and switched my focus back to making when I had previously been too hung up on concept. Doing this research also allowed me to find a subject matter that encapsulated my interests.