Introducing a new series of interviews designed to shine a light on the established and emerging artists and makers currently showing their work in exhibitions and galleries in London and further afield.

We begin the programme with visual artist Lorraine Clarke, who will be exhibiting at the Saatchi Galley's newest opening: IF NOT NOW, WHEN?, which opens its doors on 15 November and showcases the work of 29 remarkable female sculptors.

Visual artist Lorraine Clarke’s practice, from large installations to small finely crafted collections, is infused with research into rites and traditions, anthropology, ancient and contemporary medicine, folklore and belief systems. She addresses the “human condition”, from the immense impact of biotechnology to the awesome complexity of the psyche. Clarke holds a BA in Fine Art Sculpture, a Post-Graduate in Art and Psychopathology, and an MA in Art and Science. She is co-founder and Art Director of Euroart Studios, a published poet, a spinner of tales.

Your work is being exhibited in Saatchi Gallery’s exhibition IF NOT NOW, WHEN? Can you tell us what to expect from your involvement?

The work I’m exhibiting, iDoletta’s Birthing Chair, was created in 2016 as part of my project The de Seville Collection (the world of talisMan and iDoletta), exploring the faith that people have invested in objects throughout the ages and the relationship of material culture to our bodies. It is concerned with how the object connected to our belief systems could affect our physiology and bring about well-being.

My research indicated that connections could be facilitated between objects and the mind and body, evidencing our predisposition to the potentiality of suggestion. Inspired by the unlimited self-healing capacities of the mind/body system, I created the fictional reality of talisMan and iDoletta’s world to present a visualisation of the placebo effect, to evoke and emphasise the tremendous power of suggestion.

What inspires your work?

The relationship between mind/body/object has been an area of long-standing interest to me and has deepened through my studies, experiences and continual research. I reach across cultures and raid fields, from anthropology to the history of medicine. The data I collect fuels my fantasy and promotes experimentation with diverse methods and materials, acting as a nutrient that enables my ideas to develop into visual narratives.

The materials I use affect me. I explore concepts through their emotive use, merging fact and fiction, art and science. My studio, teeming with objects and materials, is the Wunderkammer, which embellishes my imagination. The line between the real and the invented is where I create my work.

Are there any other objects or artworks you’re particularly looking forward to seeing during the exhibition?

I eagerly await the opportunity to revisit this extraordinary exhibition of women artists that has toured from The Hepworth Wakefield to the Saatchi Gallery, and in particular to examine at length and indulge in the photographs and script of Helen Chadwick’s rarely seen exceptional “In the Kitchen”, 1977.

What trends do you see emerging in the arts in 2024?

The controversy and heated debate surrounding AI art isn’t going to abate anytime soon for many artists. However, I do foresee an increasing number of artists embracing it in their practices, not only as a tool to enhance their unique visions and perspectives, but also as a creative partner – a collaborator in the exploration of new directions.

If you weren’t an artist, you’d be…

An anthropologist, or a pathologist.

Other than a phone and keys, what’s the one item you always have on you?

An old Moroccan handcrafted silver amulet.

How do you relax when you’re not working?

Whether reading, writing, drawing, travelling, beach combing, collecting objects (my potential materials), everything I do connects to my work. There’s no separation.

What’s you favourite-ever piece of art (either that you own or wish you owned)?

Reclining female figure, a late 18century wax anatomy by Clemente Susini (‘La Specola’ Museum of Natural History of the University of Florence).

Click here to discover more about IF NOT NOW, WHEN? at the Saatchi Gallery, until 22 January.