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This piece was created to show at Savernack Street Gallery, a unique space where the exhibit is viewed through a peephole.

A room caught between two worlds. Civilization is intruded upon by the wild. The invasion is not a peaceful one.

Incursion from Claire Tompkins on Vimeo.

Poetry Assemblage

I composed a list of words I felt were evocative but not too specific. These were printed on old-fashioned looking paper tags and tied to small objects. The objects were chosen to be ordinary things anyone might have in a drawer, things we see every day.

I paired the words and objects without looking at the words, to force the association. That concept was added to by taking the objects and assembling them on a black background. There is interplay between the words, and between the objects and between the combinations of word and object. Each helps shift or clarify the meaning of the other.


Haiku bombing

I did a guerrilla art installation (“art bombing”) at ArtPadSF in 2012. I wrote haiku poems about viewing art, printed them onto card stock and surreptitiously taped them on various public surfaces on the Phoenix Hotel property. I didn’t put my name on them, but I did document the installation to prove I did it.

art haiku 1 art haiku 2


This is What I Understood

This piece is a wall-mounted mobile of circles punched from photographs with lines of text cut from magazines glued onto them. Each one tells a little snippet of a story.

The circles are light and held away from the wall with wire and thread. They move in the breeze and their shadows intersect with each other against the wall. The stories may also intersect, or not.

Utility Box Art

Year of Completion: 2012
Medium: photocopies on paper
Size: 67″ x 24″ x 33″

I was invited to create art on a utility box in the Uptown neighborhood of Oakland, at Telegraph and 27th Street. The project is sponsored by KONO, the Koreatown Northgate business district. My aim was to draw people’s attention to their surroundings. We walk down the same streets every day and we become blind to what’s around us.

The photos on the box are of the view beyond the box. They were rasterized to make them a bit abstract, and so that viewers would need to really look to see what they depict. The rasterizing also means that if the viewer is too close, the image is hard to recognize. I wanted to encourage passersby to take some time and notice what’s there and all around them.

Make your own haiku

Year of Completion: 2010
Medium: card stock

I composed a variety of haiku lines, 5 syllables and 7 syllables, and posted each line on card stock on a wall with a sticky dot. Viewers were encouraged to select 3 lines and create their own haiku poems with the 5-7-5 syllable structure.

There was an audio component to the show that ran continuously. Listen to it below:

Artist Trading Cards

Year of Completion: 2012
Medium: card stock
Size: 2.5″ x 3.5″

I created these cards for Flourish Oakland, Art Murmur’s annual fundraiser party. ATCs are traditionally not sold. These were give away to event attendees.

An Ideal Block gallery

This short film is a meditation on art and perception. How can you really know a thing? How do you know that what you perceive is reality? A thing is an idea before it is a thing.  If a blind person has surgery to restore sight, that person cannot actually see. You have to be taught to see. Vision alone means nothing.

This work was created for the Pro Arts Gallery annual Box Art show. I decided to use it as a metaphor rather than a physical object that I could alter somehow. By photographing it in different ways I altered its appearance without changing the block itself. That brought up the notion of perception and how much visual information we take for granted. If the wood block only seems to have been changed, what is the point of really changing it? What does the change mean at all?

In the Forest gallery

This was a collaboration between five artists to create a forest experience in a gallery. My contribution was one of the three 25 foot “trees,” the soundtrack, projected photographs and the threshold of fishing line and strands of fabric. The “trees” were moveable by visitors along their tracks. Moving a sculpture tripped a random sound effect to play. Photographs were projected from four projectors onto the sculptures.