Joy Clements served in the Women's Auxiliary Air Force during World War Two. Best known as a celebrated artist, she spent most of her life living near Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Joy was born Joyce Mary Drackett-Case in Kingston-on-Thames, Surrey, England in 1921. She descended from famous English artist Sir Alfred Munnings on her grandmother’s side. Growing up in Suffolk, she would paint her father. She was a teenager when war broke out.
She later moved to Northern Ireland after meeting husband Edgar. The two met while Joy served with the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force. Edgar was an engineer and a lecturer at the University of Ulster. The couple married after the end of the Second World War, making a home in Finaghy, Co. Antrim in the 1950s.
Life in Northern Ireland
She was the wife of the late Edgar Clements and mother of Maxwell and Susan. Joy had three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Both her children went on to creative careers, Maxwell as a furniture designer and Susan as a photographer.
Joy’s art often took inspiration from the dream theories of Carl Gustav Jung and the writing of Eckhart Tolle. She also made use of mandala symbolism drawing on Hindu culture. Her art is often displayed in her adopted hometown of Belfast, Co. Antrim including venues such as the Crescent Arts Centre.
A renowned artist
Clements’ worked in pastels most of the time but was also known for her oil and watercolour paintings.
Her career as an artist dated back to the 1970s. For four years she studied under John Turner. The Ulster Society of Women Artists elected her to their ranks in 1978. As a member, she received the Perpetual Trophy for Excellence. She served as president of the society from 1981 to 1984.
Joy was also a member of the Royal Watercolour Society, remaining an honorary member in her later years. She continued to paint until the day of her death. She spent ten years as honorary president of the Ulster Watercolour Society and was a member of the Royal Ulster Academy for 35 years.
In her later years, she continued to explore spiritualism but also focussed on maintaining a healthy body as well as the mind. She clocked up to seven miles per day on an exercise bike and undertook stretching and breathing exercises. Conversations with the renowned artist were neither short nor dull as was well versed in many topics. Philosophy, in particular, was a favourite.
Joy Clements died on 3rd December 2017 at her home in Jordanstown, Belfast, Co. Antrim. She was 97 years old. The funeral took place on 7th December 2017 at 1000hrs at James Brown and Sons on Belfast’s Shore Road. Joy Clements’ grave is in Carnmoney Cemetery, Newtownabbey, Co. Antrim.