- "At first glance, these sparkling paintings are gorgeous images of endangered animals. Upon closer inspection, however, each work shows a much darker subtext. The hauntingly expressed consequences of poaching, climate change and habitat loss powerfully focus on the plight of some of the world’s most vulnerable species." Aisha Abdelhamid, Inspired Economist
"Animal conservation and Swarovski crystals, tens of thousands of them. They have much in common, believe it or not. But only when they are in the skilled hands of artist Claire Milner." Christopher Chua, Channel News Asia, Premier Site"Talented artist Claire Milner offers a unique take on hyperrealistic paintings by using colorful gemstones to recreate breathtaking, but sadly endangered creatures. Her works of art are majestic as well as thought-provoking. Talking about endangered animals is one thing, but seeing them evokes a whole other emotional response that gets people active. Milner's work does just that by using opulent Swarovski crystals to recreate dozens of animals that are close to extinction." Misel Saban, Trendhunter
- THE ARTIST:Claire has created art for celebrities, large corporations and advertising agencies. Her artworks are held in private collections around the world and are regularly published in books and magazines. Her large scale portrait of Marilyn in 65,000 Swarovski crystals commissioned for, and in the private collection of Rihanna, is also featured on the official website of The Estate of Marilyn Monroe. With strong links to Italy and inspired by her studies of Byzantine and Roman mosaics, the artist incorporates crystals as a contemporary medium to re-interpret this ancient art form, as a commentary on and a literal reflection of a “selfie” culture.Claire's work has been displayed in institutional and museum exhibitions in the UK including: Ripon Cathedral, York Minster, Corinium Museum, Canal Museum, Pontefract Museum, Museum in the Park, as well as installations in Harrods and Whiteley's. Her portrait of Amy Winehouse appeared in an exhibition curated by the Amy Winehouse Foundation to mark what would have been the late singer's 30th birthday. Her work has been chosen for five collections with Saatchi Art and has been widely publicised; selected publications include: BBC, BBC Brasil, Blouin Artinfo, Channel News Asia, Complex Magazine, Elle (Spain and Slovenia), Forbes.com, GQ Italia, HELLO! Huffington Post Arts, Huffington Post Celebrity, International Business Times, MTV Style, Newsweek (Poland) OK! (U.K. & China) Swarovski Elements Magazine, Sky Living, The Daily Mail, The Economist (Lithuania), The Sun, The Telegraph and The Times.Passionate about the threats facing endangered species, Claire’s work has raised thousands of pounds for conservation charities. Most recently “Burning Bright” created with 32,000 Swarovski crystals representing ten times the number of tigers left in the wild was exhibited at Hotel Café Royal, and auctioned at The Savoy Hotel, London in aid of Save Wild Tigers, Born Free Foundation and The Environmental Investigation Agency.
- "Rihanna has bought one of her portraits and her work is being snapped up by collectors across the globe." Beyond Magazine"THE most striking thing about North Yorkshire artist Claire Milner’s stunning portrait of Marilyn Monroe isn’t its size (five feet square), or the fact that it’s made out of Swarovski crystals – or even that pop star Rihanna paid tens of thousands of pounds for it (although that generated a fair few headlines). What hits you is that, despite its size and the way it was made .. it has a raw truth about it... There is a real fragility and vulnerability captured there. There is another haunting secret to it, too. Claire painted a second portrait on the back, of Norma Jeane Baker... There is something almost unbearably poignant about the thought of that portrait of Norma Jeane forever facing the wall. It makes the revealed face of Marilyn even more moving." Stephen Lewis, York Press"It’s all about the detail for Claire Milner, the stellar British talent behind the portrait of Marilyn Monroe... Claire’s philosophical approach is revealed in the surprising hidden portrait painted on the reverse that represents the young Norma Jean - a commentary on the life of a celebrity. Her richly diverse sources of inspiration include ancient art and popular culture, as well as music videos and Shakespeare. This is reflected in a dynamic adaptability, from a mosaic depicting under-sea volcanoes to iconic portraiture." Swarovski Elements Magazine
- THE WORK:Whether painting in oils or with crystals, mortality, ideas of beauty in popular culture, and the conflict between civilization and the natural world are recurring themes. Simultaneously tackling minute detail and the big picture, a darker subtext questions perceptions and preconceptions and explores the opposing concepts of the superficial and the profound. Imbued with symbolism, references to classical literature, topical issues and with art historical antecedents, the work questions our consumer driven world, and mirrors a society where people, animals and inanimate objects are valued mostly for their physical appearance. The portrait artworks reveal the viewer’s own reflection, making observer and observed integral to the overall image, a commentary on modern-day celebrity; a message further enhanced by the intrusive close-cropped compositions.Claire's latest collection, featured in The Times, Channel News Asia and on the Save Virunga website, amongst others, has been described as "metaphors of our time" in examining the effects of humans on other species and questioning the ultimate consequences of this escalating crisis. The works predict an irreversible process as a result of acts of greed and vanity, which will decimate important species and ultimately affect the future of humanity. The collection considers the human capacity for greatness and great harm by exploring both thematic and technical juxtapositions. These include singular animals representing the last of the species created with thousands of individual Swarovski elements; handprints symbolizing at once the birth of art and the destruction of the planet; meticulous crystal mosaics undercut by semi-abstract painted backgrounds and unheeded graffitied warnings from classical literature in the "dead" language of latin. Claire is currently working on phase two of the collection entitled "Wipe Out And Fade Away". In contrast to their brightly coloured crystal mosaic predecessors, all of the works in this second phase are monochromatic or grisaille oil paintings to represent fading memories and reference Picasso's Guernica. The works represent a call to action for war against poaching and habitat loss and as a wake up call that wildlife populations worldwide have declined by 52% since 1970.