Clare Whistler

St Peter & St Paul, Newchurch

Artist Clare Whistler makes work across all art forms. With a background in movement and work in opera and performance she responds, interprets and collaborates with people, places and the elemental.


Candle for light is one of eight gifts traditionally given to a new child – Egg for life, Coal for Heat, Evergreen for Eternity, Salt for Health, Candle for light, Bread for Food, Coin for Wealth and a Silver Ring for Love throughout Life.

This film is a re-interpretation of Candle for Light from Clare Whistler’s 2005-2015 collaborative art project Gifts. Made with gift economy i.e. no exchange of money, these ‘gifts’ were offered and received as intimate events in unusual locations.

Nichola Bruce filmmaker, has interpreted the film footage shot over the years by different filmmakers of eight events. The weather, gesture, place as well as the participants, combine in a strange series of  journeys unearthing what these objects, offered as a gift, may hold.

Artist Books

Candle Gifts Series 5, 200mm x 75mm. Limited edition 25.

Clare’s candle ritual – wake, light candle, write
August – December 21 2010 – into darkness
December to March 21 2011 – towards light
Book design: Raphael Whittle

Clare Whistler has also created a book Gifts, a record of the Gift Project alongside essays about gifts, ritual, utopian ideals and gift economy. 210mm x 250mm, 300 pages. Limited edition 300.


Candle is one of eight films from GIFTS.

Length – 9 mins
Format – HD69