Clive was born in 1953 and his father’s profession as a geologist led his family to travel extensively while he was growing up.
Clive has many fond memories of the distant and exotic places he experienced during those roving childhood years, and his art captures a wide range of those personal moments he experienced.
Drawing from these recollections, he has produced an array of pictures on paper, canvas and board using paint, pencil and pen. Some of Clive’s art is confronting, some of it humorous – but always crisp, colourful and distinctive. His artistic style is, in many ways, reminiscent of Egyptian hieroglyphs produced many thousands of years ago.
Professionally, Clive has worked at Activ Industries sheltered workshop in Western Australia from 1988 to 2014.
Clive has Usher Syndrome – a genetic condition which causes hearing loss from birth and progressive loss of sight due to retinitis pigmentosa, which causes degeneration of the retina.
The condition affects many aspects of Clive’s life, including his speech, hearing, sight and balance. Clive has some useable sight left during the day, but has very little vision at night unless there is good lighting. Clive has difficulty with his balance when stepping from one surface to another, which requires the use of a cane or assistance from a carer.
Because Clive is deaf he can’t use a telephone or hear the door bell ring. He is unable to listen to the radio or appreciate music; he can’t give instructions to a bus or taxi driver and won’t cross a street unassisted because he can’t hear or see traffic coming.
Clive’s main form of communication is ‘finger spelling’. This technique embraces the sense of touch and involves spelling out each letter of a word on his hands and fingers.
Clive has always been a quiet person and somewhat withdrawn as his disability has progressed. He derives great enjoyment from his art and has developed a unique style of painting which is appreciated by many people. He loves the company of young people and being with animals, visiting museums, zoos and new places, including pet shops. This is where he draws his inspiration from.