About Claire

Claire Rye

My career so far..

I am a British born painter, community artist and a year 3 Creative Arts Therapy Masters (clinical) student at Whitecliffe College. I graduated with a BA (Hons) in Fine Arts from Manchester Metropolitan University in 2001. I have since facilitated creative projects in a multitude of community settings in England and Aotearoa-NZ. I was given the opportunity to facilitate art workshops in France & Finland. I have exhibited my artwork in art shows in the UK, New York, Australia and Aotearoa-NZ.

I moved to Aotearoa-NZ in 2015, I have been working for Stopping Violence Dunedin since 2017 as a youth worker and art therapist. My role involves facilitating art therapy sessions working with the effects of family violence on young people. In addition, I facilitate community murals that explore ways to give ownership of community space to young people, developing their sense of identity & skills. I also assist different community groups to create public artwork around a chosen theme on a freelance basis.

My approach to community mural making is highly collaborative. I value the creative process and community connection as primary parts of a project. I focus on building connections with the artists I co-create with, whatever their experience level may be. I aim to let everyone’s creative voice be seen within the final mural. I do add extra details and often find myself outlining or tidying up lines at the end so that the mural can look its best. The final murals can look eclectic, I also see vibrancy, creative inspiration and empowerment in them. Through rigorous co-designing, we are able to weave many voices together into one cohesive design, which is then painted by a group. 

This is work I love and will continue to do as long as I am invited




-Ōtepoti Mental Health Show, Dunedin, 2021

-WOM Lockdown Inspiration, London, 2021

-MENtal Health Art Show, Community Gallery, Dunedin, 2020

-Nomadic Art Gallery, Aotearoa, 2020.


-Give & Take, Morning Magpie, Dunedin, 2019

-Palette of Poetry, Resene Colorshop, Dunedin, 2018

-HWK Fundraiser, Kings High School, Dunedin, 2018

-Honey Badgers Do Dunedin, Kiki Beware & Daily Coffee, 2018

-The Big Hoot Art trail, Auckland, 2018


-Super Kawaii. Matchbox Studios, Wellington, 2016

-Honey Badgers 2.0. Wellington, 2016


-Plantae group show. In Good Company, Wellington, 2015

-Fools and Horses group show. Copeland Gallery, London, 2014

-Femme Fierce. Cre-8 Gallery, London, 2014


-Girls On Top present Colours. Tower Gallery, Newcastle, 2013

-Mr Sheriffs Artists 20th Anniversary of RC Sherriff Trust. Robert Philips Gallery, Walton-Upon-Thames, 2013

-Type Tasting . A display of creative typography. V&A London, 2013

– Art House, Heatham House Summer Exhibition. Twickenham, 2013

-Girls On Top crew. Bob Bar, Eastside Manhattan, NYC,  2013

-Sweet Arts, Show 1, International Women’s day show. The Crypt Gallery, London, 2013

-26th Chamber opening show, Northampton, 2012

-Art House, Heatham House Summer Exhibition. Twickenham, 2012

-Girls On Top  “Sweet” jam (curator & artist) Heatham House, Twickenham. 2012

– Grufts at Graffik. A show of dog paintings. Portobello Rd, London, 2012

-Special Brews group show, The Boilerhouse, Cardiff, 2012


-Creative Minds Group Show. Kingston-Upon-Thames, 2011

-Street Sounds: Fresh Reunion, London, 2011.

-Art House, Heatham House Summer Exhibition. Twickenham, 2011

-Eurocultured X, Blank Space Manchester. 2011

-Hu-R-Yu group show. “Braille Graffiti”. The Hu-Man Gallery, Burnley, 2011

-Girls On Top group show. Lockside Lounge. Camden, London, 2011

-Wholetrain meets Combat Calligraphy, international show. CUC, Liverpool, 2010

-Hope Mill Open Studio, Manchester, 2010

-“Fab Fridge” magnetic street art. Bath, 2010


-Grenade Gallery, gallery opening show. Notting Hill, London, 2008

-“Let There Be Light”  6 month art residency. St Georges Church, Esher, Surrey 2008

-Girls On Top @ the Frisson Gallery, Canterbury  2008

-Writers Beyond the Wall part 2. The Arthouse, Southampton 2007

-Guerilla Zoo Hijacks the Toilet Gallery. Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey 2007

-“Bustin’ Loose”, The Queen Boudicca, London EC1, 2007

-Writers Beyond the Wall. The Arthouse, Southampton, 2006

-“Journeys Beginning”  Brooklands Shopping Centre, Weybridge, Garsons    Farm, Esher & Robert Philips Gallery, Walton-upon Thames, 2006


-“Funny Ha-Ha”  Beatrice Royal Contemporary Art and Craft Gallery, Hampshire 2001

-“Fresh Art” (featured artist)  Business Design Centre, Islington, London 2001

-“Mancunian Candidates” Manchester Metropolitan University 2001

-“Year 2” Righton Gallery, Manchester 2000

-Foundation show. Wimbledon School of Art 1998


  • Post Grad. Diploma Arts Therapy. Whitecliife College of Art and Design, 2020.
  • Te Reo Māori, Level 1 & 2, Te Wananga O Aotearoa, 2019.
  • New Zealand certificate in Youth Work. Careerforce Level 3 2016
  • BA (Hons) Fine Art  (Sculpture) Manchester Metropolitan University 2001
  • B-Tec Foundation Studies art and design, Wimbledon Art School 1998

Paint My Panda regular freelance roles


  • Oranga Tamariki 2017-2019. I worked as a kaiawhina in 2017 and was commissioned to paint a numbert of murals around Care and Protection houses in the Dunedin area. 
  • Hutt Valley Community Arts 2015-2016.Tutor on community arts engagement projects, working with mixed groups of young people, some with graffiti convictions.
  • Upper Hutt City Council 2015-2016. Tutor and arts mentor on community mural projects, working with assorted groups of young people in the area.
  • Buller REAP 2015/2016/2018. Tutor with NEET group, and mentor to in-training youth workers.

Other clients include: Youth Law, Enspiral, Greys District Youth, Sticks and Stones/Project Positive, Pakiki Kids, Oranga Tamariki, Glenfalloch Gardens, Keep New Zealand Beautiful, Green Island Community Network, Youthline Otago, Birkenhead Town Centre Association, Chorus, Good Good, Little Citizens, Kawatiri Coastal Trail, Otago Motorcycle Club, Taste Nature, Waitati Music Festival, Ōtepoti Hip Hop Hustle, TracMap, Harrow Motorbody, 


  • Richmond Borough Council 2006-2014. I worked at various youth centers across the borough as a workshop facilitator, some projects involving accredited outcomes, school holiday programmes, alternative provision (NEET), girls only groups, vulnerable teenagers, special needs, artist in residence.
  • The RC Sherriff Trust  2006-2014. I worked on various community engagement projects in the Elmbridge area, designing creating and installing public art works.I worked with primary and secondary schools, retirement centers, special needs groups, school holiday provisions and general public plus a 6 month Artist in Residence (2008)
  • Feltham Arts 2007-2008 & 2011-2014. Community engagement projects with local children in schools, housing estates and community centers. School holiday provision and after school clubs with learning outcomes.
  • Spearfish 2008-2011 I ran assorted arts workshops with a focus on graffiti projects in primary and secondary schools, alternative provision centres (NEET), young offenders institutes plus live painting and commissioned mural work
  • The Dogs Trust 2010-2013. City Dogs branch working with inner city communities and young offenders on dog welfare themed creative engagement projects
  • Kingston Youth Support Services 2011-2014. I ran art workshops with special needs teenagers working with themes of identity and ownership.

Other clients include: Richmond Youth Partnership, Dragonfly Events, Sony Playstation, ‘The Priory’ Radstock, Opening Doors homeless charity, Feltham CLC, Eastpak “Tag My Pak”, Urban Damage, We Are Skyhigh, Events by Interact, Non Conform Agency, City West, Manchester Camerata, Toms Shoes, Knowsley Council, Brugal Rum, NJLIVE, BBC Blast, Hounslow Homes, NBC Universal, Spearfish, EuroCultured, North MusicTrust/Comusica, Capital of Culture- (Turku- Finland), A.R.K schools, Isleworth Explorers,Paragon Community Housing  Group, Blackpool Coach Services Ltd, Milkshake Montessori Nursery, Elmbridge Borough Council, Thames Valley Housing Association, Speakeasy (France), Heavenly Dish, Watermans Art Centre, Brighton Youth Centre, Runnymead Borough Council, Sustrans, Feltham Rugby club, The Eikon Charity, East Dulwich Picturehouse, Friends Of River Crane Environment, Surrey Docks Young Farmers, The Conservation Volunteers, Achieving for Children, Dalgarno Trust, plus many individual schools and youth clubs around the UK.

Volunteer roles

  • Zealandia bird feeder/counter NZ June 2015-2017
  • SWLEN (South West London Environment Network) UK. Communications Officer. UK 2014
  • TCV (The Conservation Volunteers)  Volunteer Officer; Local conservation tasks and assisting project management. UK 2014

Also: Forest and Bird, Places for Penguins, The Conservation Volunteers and Sustainability Trust.

Please check out my LinkedIn profile if you require further information 🙂

Birkenhead Town Centre, 2020

Paint My Panda by Pixeledonion