This is Clay Perry’s personal selection of his work, spanning sixty years, since he graduated from Guildford School of Art under the inspiring tutelage of Ifor Thomas until now.
There were meetings with remarkable people, privileged access to private lives and wonderful journeys to exotic places.
An admirer of Bruce Davidson and Robert Frank, he quietly captured the essence of his diverse subjects from exquisite portraits of people and plants, extraordinary landscapes, and amazing buildings.
A master of observation he only works with natural light, and dogged determination. His easy way of working hides this, and has resulted in a wonderful archive of work. A very demanding art director once said
“I could send Clay into the jungle with no camera, and he would still come back with the pictures.”
As Patrick Leigh Fermor wrote of him, “nobody can capture the noonday devil of August with greater skill”
The diversity of Clay’s work was decreed by his being commissioned, and by chance, resulting in an extraordinary rich journey. His latest work inspired by the Spanish painter Juan Sanchez Cotin, born on the same day as Clay 25th of June, but in 1560 is part of an unceasing search for perfection, and can be seen in his latest book Heritage Fruits & Vegetables, published by Thames & Hudson in conjunction with the RHS. His quest continues.