Claire Davenhall

Claire Davenhall

Location: Australia

Claire Davenhall was born in 1978 in London, UK, and graduated from the oldest established fine art institution in Scotland, Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen with a BA (Hons) in Fine Art Sculpture, she studied at Athens School of Fine Art & North Karelia Polytechnic in Finland. Now living in Perth in Western Australia, she has had 7 solo exhibitions and numerous group exhibitions in Australia, New York, Paris, and London. She exhibits alongside ‘World Class’ artists in exhibitions such as Sculpture at Scenic World 2018 in NSW, Swell Sculpture Festival 2017 in QLD, Sculpture by the Sea 2015 in WA, awarded Winner of the Shinju Matsuri in 2016 and Major Prize Winner of the Drift Installation Awards 2017. She received an Honorable Mention Award, for participation and distinction with her sculpture Lost Soles at Sea at the International Circle Foundation Artist of the Year Awards in 2019. She won the International Guest Panellist’s Choice Award at the Walker Gallery in the UK, where she was recognized as having innovation & excellence worldwide. In 2021 she exhibited her work as part of the International Indian Ocean Craft Triennial IOTA21 and received a Certificate of Excellence for her sculpture ‘Balancing Act’ by Circle Foundation in 2022 and was awarded as Artistic Excellence Artist of the Year in 2023. Her current solo-touring exhibition ‘Lost Soles’ explores the early migration of people to Australia, taking inspiration from found objects to reveal the hidden stories and provide historical identity to the lost souls, sentenced to land beyond the seas. This work invites the viewer to take a closer look and bring together a sense of people and place through art.



Her current touring exhibition LOST SOLES, timelessly captures the story of lost souls through her sculptural work. She explores the multicultural migration of people to Australia and captures the complex cultural heritage these waves of migration weave. Her work makes social comments about the pressures placed on early settlers, migrants, refugees and convicts. She explores the bond that ties them together through the journey of life, while taking inspiration from found objects to reveal the hidden stories they hold, bringing together a sense of People, Place & Art.

It’s a thought provoking, intriguing and creative exhibition that dares to challenge your own lost soul and the story it yet has to tell.

Lost Soles at Sea “Lost Soles at Sea”

When its safer to take your chances on the water than it is to stay on the land!
This work explores the inhuman amounts of people who have boarded boats in search for better a life, the lost soles, lost at sea, drifting in a sea of knowledge, bound together with a school of thought in a vessel of hope…

Lost Soles Connected “Lost Soles Connected”

This sculptural work explores the strength of family connection and the bonds that tie us together, through the journey of life. Inspired by an old family heirloom, the mystery of an old travelling box the artist thought was once owned by one of her great grandmothers, revealed some hidden truths about the owners and connection they shared between them.

Lost Soles of Mary Rose “Lost Soles of Mary Rose”

The Lost Soles of Mary Rose, destined to follow in the virtuous steps of the Virgin Mary, Star of the Sea. This beautiful English Rose fell into the shackles of a gaolbird after enduring a tale of broken hearts, promises and abandonment; her only ‘crime' was love.

The vulnerable 16 year old falsely accused and betrayed lost both home and liberty, she departed on The ‘Lady Juliana’ Convict Ship during the summer of 1789 with 226 women, sentenced to 7 years transportation, all bound for land beyond the seas! Convict ‘LOVE’ tokens were given as a final act of remembrance, while the handkerchief captures the tears and fears, as the ship sets sail and she surrenders to her fate.

Convict Prayers Flags “Convict Prayers Flags”

Ladies handkerchiefs intertwined in a handmade rope, float like prayer flags as they drift across the room in waves representing over 200 convict women from the second fleet, on-board the Lady Juliana Ship in 1789.

Made from remnants of white cloth, (evidence from their crime), identical in shape and size of ladies handkerchiefs some with embroidered identity markings, some unembellished and unadorned while others contain handwritten messages taken from convict love tokens. Love tokens or leaden hearts where given to loved ones as act of remembrance. They are a tangible record of the convicts’ own voice, written on a ladies handkerchief, to capture the tears and fears, as they surrender to their fate and boarded the transportation ship, all sentenced to ‘Land Beyond the Seas’.

Lost Soles From the Lady Penrhyn “Lost Soles From the Lady Penrhyn ”

Convict soles taken from the shoes of 108 convict women of the first fleet on-board the Lady Penrhyn Ship in 1788. Folklore suggested that the broad arrow was stamped on the sole of each shoe, so if they ran away they could see which direction they were heading in. There was no right or left shoe, a shoe was just a shoe and you were lucky if you had two! They are cast in resin with a colour changing green to gold pigment, representing the national colours of Australia and their final resting place.

Sea of Knowledge “Sea of Knowledge”

The World Book Encyclopedia’s mission is to enhance our learning of the world around us, but in the digital age, these books lay closed, unread and castaway. Knowledge is as vast as the ocean, the world drifts on a sea of knowledge that spills into the ocean and goes untold.

These convict soles are taken from the shoes of convict women on-board the first fleet on the Lady Penrhyn Ship in 1788, which were condemned to the margins of history. Folklore suggested that the broad arrow, a symbol of government property, was stamped on the sole of each shoe, so if tried to escape, they would point in the direction they went. The price of this convict woman’s soul was three pieces of cloth and a silver spoon.