Assemblage Artist


Claire Macrae-Drylie

Making art is an important part of who I am.
If I'm not physically making art, I'm thinking about making art. I really enjoy the process.
I trawl op shops and garage sales looking for the perfect old box, a captivating trinket, a Jesus with a broken nose or the best, bright-blue bottle cap you have ever seen. (An overflowing house and studio is the down side to my collecting.)
On the flip side, I also constantly take photos of dark abandoned places and people.
When I gave up trying to paint pretty pictures, and started making collage and assemblage, I found my passion, 
I found me.


 What's new:

This year, I was selected to exhibit in the Warrnibald portrait prize (you can read about my entry here), held at the Warrnambool Art Gallery, and the annual Biblio Art Award, at Blarney Books & Art, Port Fairy (see my entry here).  To read more about my first solo exhibition, held at Tinning St Gallery, Brunswick, please visit here.


28th September - 15 October 2017


The work in this exhibition 'Abandoned' is inspired by my interest in photography, and also my fascination with the macabre. I grew up in the Box Brownie era, the photos were tiny, the images grainy and one had to look really closely to get a sense of what was actually going on. My piano teacher subscribed to the 'Illustrated London Times' while waiting for my lesson, I devoured these magazines, for they often contained thrilling grainy images of dead people. Images not found in my mother's favoured magazine, 'The Women's Weekly'. I still remember seeing and trying to make sense of an image of Mussolini and his mistress, hanging upside down from a crude scaffold, surrounded by smiling villagers. A single shoe lying on the ground underneath. And now, many decades later, I photograph and make work about dark, abandoned and unusual people and places. These photographs are then reconstructed to give the works a narrative of their own. 

Claire Macrae Drylie


I was born in the coastal city of Warrnambool, but shifted around a lot as a child before returning to raise my own family in the early 1970s. I came to art later in life, starting with a TAFE Art and Design course in the 80s (I am yet to complete it! ) and I now work from my own studio, plus under the guidance of Glenn Morgan at Factory Arts, Warrnambool. I had quite an artistic family and one of my relatives Muriel Pornett (Pornitz) was, I realise now, an important influence for her interpretation of the world and her diverse art practice. 


Thank you for visiting. For all sales inquiries or studio visits (in Warrnambool, Victoria) please contact Claire Macrae Drylie.


Lexicon 1 (box created by Matthew Stewart)