Informed by a background in both social sciences and visual arts, Sally Clarke's practice critiques the hierarchical and, in particular, gendered constructions of space and the way spaces, materials, and bodies become defined from one another through the attribution of visual, social and cultural codes. Clarke engages with the way power, and the desire for it, drives such divisions and how this plays out in artistic representations and the cultural contexts from which they emerge. Her works explore how these types of relationships can be re-imagined.
Much of Clarke's work has been preoccupied with material and visual significations of domestic space and all that entails. She explores how low-status materials, forms and representations can take their position among very public and dominant discourses including high modernism, the master narratives of landscape painting and contemporary conceptual art through media such as paint, plasticine and floor vinyl and formats that range from two-dimensional surfaces to installation.
Clarke completed her PhD in Philosophy (Fine Arts) in 2008 and, after fourteen years of working as an academic at the College of Fine Arts UNSW, Sydney, established AirSpace Projects with artist and designer Brenda Factor in 2014. AirSpace Projects forms part of her artistic project and is housed in a Marrickville warehouse that contains four galleries, a workshop/seminar area and an outdoor residency project space.