About Claire

Claire Rye

Career Summary

I am a degree educated fine artist, I graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University in 2001 and did my Foundation Studies at Wimbledon School of Art. I am also a youth worker. I moved to Aotearoa/NZ in 2014 and am now a resident.  Currently I work for Stopping Violence Dunedin and run different art projects with school groups and young people.

The majority of my projects are community engagement projects which explore ways of giving ownership of a space to young people, developing their sense of identity, developing skills or assisting different community groups to create public artwork around a chosen theme. I run have run accredited projects resulting in AQA’s and Arts Awards (in the UK) for participants.

Some of my groups have behavioral issues at school, have been excluded are in residential care or are young offenders. These groups can be hard to engage with in many ways, but I find they are usually very excited and engage well with group mural projects, especially where spray cans are involved!

I have been working with spray paint since the late 1990’s.  Spray paint is a useful tool as it covers a lot of space quickly and you can get great effects in a short time, I still enjoying using brushes though and most of my murals will use both elements.

I am a bit of a nature geek. I do regular work as a conservation volunteer whenever I can. In 2014 I worked as a Volunteer Officer for The Conservation Volunteers in Richmond and Hounslow and helped the South West London Environment Network. I recently volunteered for Zealandia Ecosanctuary for 2 years feeding the native birds, and learnt more about New Zealand’s conservation issues.

The panda motif seen in many of my walls (pre 2014) is, for me a symbol of conservation, riffing off the World Wildlife Fund logo that is so iconic. Since moving to New Zealand I have been captivated by the bird life here and the efforts that are made to protect it and to improve native bird populations.

In 2000 a friend and I started GOT crew, an all girl graffiti collective, to help redress the gender imbalance in graffiti and street art that was prevalent at the time. As a collective we still work on shows, commissions and paint at festivals together. I have enjoyed working with a number of different artistic collectives ago the way, I enjoy the sociability of collectives and being exposed to new styles and ways of working.



-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. Converse @ 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  group show. Twickenham, 2013

-Girls On Top crew show at the Bob Bar, Eastside Manhattan, NY  2013

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

-26th Chamber opening show, Northampton 2012

-Art House, Heatham House Summer Exhibition group show and live art. 2012

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

– Grufts at Graffik. A group 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 Sound Fresh Reunion, London 2011.

-Art House, Heatham House Summer Exhibition group show and live art. 2011

-Eurocultured X ,Manchester. Group show. Blank Space Manchester. 2011

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

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

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

-Hope Mill Open Studio, Manchester 2010

-“Fab Fridge” magnetic street art. Bath 2010


-Grenade Gallery, gallery opening group 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 Boadicca, London EC1, 2007

-Solo Show. The Arthouse, Southampton 2006

-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


  • Battle of Waterloo UK graffiti competition 2012- Girls winner. Hosted by Chrome and Black

Paint My Panda regular freelance roles:


  • Stopping Violence Dunedin/DCAFV 2017- present. Creating and facilitating Bail On Bullying projects in schools & community arts at events.
  • 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


  • 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

I have also volunteered with: Forest and Bird, Places for Penguins, The Conservation Volunteers and Sustainability Trust


  • New Zealand certificate in Youth Work Level 3 2016
  • BA (Hons) Fine Art  (Sculpture) Manchester Metropolitan University 1998-2001
  • B-Tec Foundation Studies art and design, Wimbledon Art School 1997-1998

Funding bids secured                                        

  •  £7,000 to design, create and install a hand painted glass brick sculpture at the Medicine Gardens in Cobham. Funded by RC Sherriff Trust. 2013
  • £1,000 to install a hand painted glass brick wall at the Walton Centre, Walton-On-Thames. Funded by RC Sherriff Trust 2012
  • £4,000 for “Let There Be Light” art residency at St. Georges Church, Esher. Funded by RC Sherriff Trust 2008

Short courses  

  • Workplace First Aid refresher course 2017
  • Program Management, health and safety, child protection, behaviour management SKIDS. 2015/2016
  • Introduction to Natural Heritage, DOC online course. 2015
  • Introduction to Ecosystems. Open University. 2015                                                                        
  • Project Leadership. TCV. 2014
  • Paediatric First Aid. BabyEm Ltd. 2014
  • UK Tree ID. Sutton Ecology Centre. 2014
  • Outdoor Classroom. Friends Of River Crane Environment 2014
  • Wildlife surveillance techniques. TCV 2014
  • Increasing volunteering opportunities for young people. TIDE. 2014
  • Safeguarding (children and vulnerable adults) TCV. 2014
  • First aid (short)  Feltham Arts. 2013
  • Energy and Environment in a Global Context. Centre for Alternative Technology.2013
  • Padi Open Water Diver 2013
  • Art Awards Bronze and Silver advisor 2010
  • Carnival costumes. Celebratory Arts. 2008
  • Surrey County Council Community Arts Training Scheme. 2007
  • Willow lanterns. Celebratory Arts. 2006



Paint My Panda by Pixeledonion