Stella Clarke (BA Hons First Class, MA, PhD) was born in 1964 in East Anglia, UK. She graduated from the University of Warwick with a degree in English and Italian in 1987. She spent a year styudying at the University of Florence, and also took art classes. She travelled extensively in Europe, visiting galleries and studying art history wherever she went. Stella taught literary and arts subjects at universities in the UK, before emigrating to Australia in 1998 with her husband. In Australia, Stella continued to teach, and for fifteen years was a national critic, reviewing contemporary Australian literature. Her experience both as a writer and literary judge has given Stella profound insights into Australian culture and landscape, which are very valuable to her in the creation of her artwork. Throughout her life drawing and painting have been constant occupations, and subsequently, as a full-time parent, Stella took the opportunity to focus more fully upon her artistic career.
Over the past ten years Stella has exhibited in galleries in regional Victoria, Geelong, Melbourne and Sydney. Aspects of her artwork have been covered in feature articles on ABC TV and Channel 9. A love of the natural environment and a commitment to landscape painting are central to Stella’s work as an artist. Her practice involves spending time in the locations that inspire her, at home, locally and further afield on the Victorian coast and in Tasmania. Stella documents what she sees, and takes photographic notes, that she later uses as a basis for her paintings in the studio. She works mainly in oils, on canvases covering a range of sizes from 20cm up to two metres.