Clement McAleer was born in 1949, Dungannon, Co Tyrone, Northern Ireland. He studied Fine Art at Canterbury College of Art and the Royal College of Art, London (1975 - 78). He now lives and works in Belfast. He has twice been a prize-winner at the John Moores Exhibition in Liverpool (Xl and XVIII). He has exhibited extensively in Dublin (Kerlin Gallery, Hallward Gallery), Belfast (Fenderesky Gallery), Liverpool (Bluecoat Gallery and Ainscough Gallery) and London (Art First, most recently 1998, 2000), and work has steadily entered public and corporate collections including the Arts Councils of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Ulster Museum, European Parliament, Allied Irish Bank, Arthur Andersen & Co.
The focus of McAleer’s painting - on paper or on canvas - is primarily landscape: not the particularities of place, but rather the restless, shifting aspects of nature where cloud or water, land or sea transform themselves atmospherically, one into another. The West Coast of Ireland is a dominant source and a memory of it lurks everywhere in the studio, but Welsh and local coastal walks have their input too, and for the 1995 Aldeburgh Festival Exhibition, Suffolk’s marine greys had their turn. Travels around Europe (France, Germany, Netherlands) have added their own contribution to his work.
Whatever the subject - stormy sea, land towards sea, inland garden - the perspective is high, the brushwork as fresh as the gusts of wind which stir each surface, and the structure is firm. Sometimes a visible grid, but often submerged, this underlying order abstracts each painting, but serves also to release it slowly as the sense of 'being there' establishes itself. In the words of the Irish playwright Brian McAvera, "The slow hard-won subtleties of his work make his pictures your friends for life".