Clare Smith


This piece foregrounds links between the lives we live in the current health crisis, the financial, political and our internal, emotional, spiritual and interpersonal lives using Canary Wharf and Chrisp Street as the focus.

The ‘onion’ that is Canary Wharf: layers of experiences, identities, responses and past stories. Originally, rural marshland, the centre of a trade/travel hub, a contemporary ‘Babylon’, in the future the next Shoreditch/Hoxton? Formed from poverty, mass labour, oppression and exploitation of local people; its very existence permeated with the blood, green gold, transactions of lives, deaths and labour of enslaved millions which created obscene wealth and power.

Out of the isolation and alienation caused by and responsible for the conflagration of wealth and power, we rise, our internal selves blossoming, rich in talent, skills, spirituality, creativity and humanity, confident as individuals and in our human connections and ‘one-ness’ with all other living beings.

Thanks to: Paolo Fiorentini for a positive critiquing and wonderful mentoring
Music: ‘Deep into London’ Bastien Slice/Epidemic Sound, Adobe Stock

About Clare

Clare works part time in a library and has a background in teaching. Prior to that, she work in advice work, welfare rights and legal advice. She was born into a radical ‘bohemian’ family, and has lived most of her life East London; the past 15 years in Poplar since returning to London from Manchester.

Clare has always felt most herself when creative. However, due to a range of family and childcare commitments, this repeatedly had to be put on ‘the backburner’ due to the need to ‘put bread on the table’. Only recently has she been blessed with the time, conditions and opportunities to allow her to concentrate on herself and creativity.

At the age of 65, she is discovering much about herself; it’s the first time in her life where no external constraints or restrictions are imposed and no longer feels pressure to conform to societally imposed stereotypes.

She is strongly motivated by socio-political considerations and the struggle for compassion, freedom, justice and equality. She is also driven by a passion for the natural environment and the imperative to protect and nurture this. She also considers the ‘spiritual’ element to her being of equal importance. Her life is predicated on these three linked elements which inform and shape her creativity.

PREMIERE: Saturday 28 November at 2pm

poplar union digital arts festival, poplar union, community commission, looking out looking in looking up, Clare smith, east london, free, digital, things to do