Belfast Telegraph

Artist Joy was still painting right up until her passing at the age of 97

By Angela Rainey

A renowned artist who has died at the age of 97 will be laid to rest today.

Joy Clements (nee Drackett-Case) was born in Suffolk but lived for most of her life in Northern Ireland.

Wife of the late Edgar and mother to Maxwell (66) and Susan (62), Mrs Clements had three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

She died in her home in Jordanstown on Sunday.

A member of the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force during the Second World War, she met her engineer and University of Ulster lecturer husband during her service.

The couple married after the war and settled in Finaghy in south Belfast in the 1950s.

With a career dating back to the 1970s, Mrs Clements undertook four years of study under painter John Turner.

She was particularly known for paintings that expressed the dream theories of the father of analytic psychology Carl Gustaf Jung, and symbolism relating to mandala in Hinduism.

In 1978 she was elected to the Ulster Society of Women Artists, where she was subsequently awarded the Perpetual Trophy for her excellence, and served as president from 1981 to 1984.

She was also a member of the Royal Watercolour Society and remained an honorary member in her latter years.

Referred to as “a passionate artist”, Mrs Clements’ medium was mainly pastels, although she also produced pieces in oil and watercolour.

Two pieces of her work are currently being exhibited in Belfast, while a third was on show just three weeks ago at the Crescent Arts Centre.

Former Royal Ulster Academy honorary secretary Michael McCann, who knew the artist for 35 years, said he will remember her  as “effervescent” and “spiritual”.

“She was one of the most delightful and most caring people ever,” he said.

“Her main focus was on others and the centrality of love, the love of others and self and of goodness.

“She was very profound and extremely spiritual and would often engage in long philosophical conversations.

“Although she rarely left the house, she was an excellent communicator.

“She was passionate about painting and did so every day right up to a few hours before she died.”

Mrs Clements was health conscious, and despite her age would clock up seven miles daily on her exercise bike, as well as completing stretching and breathing exercises.

She was also known for her “broad-mindedness in all topics” and the conversations she would have over the phone “which were never short and certainly never dull”.

“She had such a sense of fun and mischief,” added Mr McCann.

“Joy had a deep interest in inner peace, it was part of her philosophy and she strove to achieve that.

“She had all her faculties and was as alert at 97 as she ever was.

“Joy was effervescent and really was the most magical woman.”

A funeral service will be held today at 10am at James Brown & Sons, Shore Road, followed by interment in Carnmoney Cemetery.

Belfast Telegraph

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