SS17 Beachcomber Collection - Claire Gill Q&A

We met up with digital art specialist and seaside photographer, Claire Gill to discuss our latest SS17 Beachcomber collection and what tools are involved in her art.

May 9th 2017
The Barbour story began back in 1894 in our seaside homeland, South Shields – and we’ve been passionate about the coastline ever since. To celebrate the launch of our new Spring Summer 17 Beachcomber collection, we’re rediscovering our seaside heritage and lifelong relationship with the shore.  

After uncovering the work of Claire Gill, a hugely talented digital art specialist and seaside photographer who creates beautiful photo-montages of the coastline; we couldn’t wait to sit down and find out more about her connection with the seaside, and the influence it’s had on her work. Here’s what we found out. 
Can you tell us where your relationship with art began?
I grew up in an artistic household, we had paper and pencils scattered everywhere. I would always be looking for new projects; cutting up my mum’s clothes, melting all my crayons in saucepans to make candles – I’d always be trying new things out.
Most of your art now is inspired by the sea, what do you love about it?
The coast is like an escape for me. You get there and look out to a huge expanse of space. It’s a great place to clear your head, to feel free and uninhibited, and to reflect on things that are important in life. 
 Claire wore our Barbour Clove Hitch Jumper.
What things do you find when beachcombing?
When I’m exploring, I find things that are truly beautiful – lots of fishing ephemera especially. I don’t know what it is, but I just love the way it looks. I love the texture, the colours, and the ways it sits.
What does creating mean to you?
I think being creative is my way of feeling fulfilled. It’s solving a problem that wasn’t there before, and bringing something new into being – that feeling’s really special. It feels like an accomplishment, and it is a necessary thing for me, it is like eating! 
 Claire wore our Barbour Kelp Wax Jacket.
Is there a stand-out project you’ve worked on?
Yes, my seascapes. I’ve developed over 61 seascapes exploring the coastlines of Britain, and it’s a subject I love. It’s taken me to a lot of really beautiful coastlines, it’s given me a lot of lovely memories with my family who often come along. I think it’s made me better as an artist.
Can you tell us about the tools that are involved in your art?
Simple – a camera, a computer and a printer! I go out to locations with my camera, explore the area, and take photos of things that I’m attracted to. On returning to the studio, I upload the images and try to create what is in effect, a composite image from lots of different photographs.
What is it about the coast that inspires your work?
I get really excited when I see textures and colours. Especially when I see things I know at some point are going to appear in a photo montage. Things I know are just waiting to be in a piece of art, and that really excites me.
What’s your favourite Barbour garment?
This jumper! I knew it was going to be lovely as soon as I opened it. The fisherman’s rib is perfect for a coastal-inspired collection. It’s heavy without being too hot, it’s a nice weight, it feels really comfy, I love it. 
Discover more about our collaboration with Claire Gill and our SS17 Beachcomber collection