Claire Frances-Smith

Education: Barking & Dagenham College

Claire's colourful aquatic pieces are inspired by her own imagination. The painter is particularly drawn to the Koi fish, which is a symbol of luck, prosperity and good fortune in Japan. 


Passionate about art as a teen, Claire sketched everything from David Bowie album covers to the everyday objects around her. She went on to study design and illustration at Barking & Dagenham College in London, which gave her a fantastic grounding in composition and colour theory. 

Ancient Japanese legend tells of Koi fish swimming relentlessly upstream against the water's flow, representing strength in a time of adversity. The Koi then leap up a waterfall and are transformed into a dragon, which in itself represents strength and good fortune. Aside from this, the beautiful colours and patterns of Koi make them a wonderful subject.

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