Growing up in Toronto Aunaray Carol Clusiau aka Carol Clusiau was blessed by location to frequent the plethora of art galleries available to her. A rigorous enthusiasm prompted her to take her first art classes at the Ontario College of Art and Design University where the instructors invited models right off the street, with
large-bellies, lots of wrinkles, wearing nothing but a bottle of rum.
Little did she know she would spend the next seven years as an art student at OCAD and ECUAD, unwilling to give up the pleasures of so many tools and mediums. Engaging in everything possible from sculpture, photography, painting and drawing to pottery and performance. It was impossible to narrow down the choices to just one major.
After apprenticing in Victoria BC with Mexican painter Luis Merino, she was accepted into The Emily Carr University of Art and Design and was well on her way to becoming a painter herself.
In 1990, when time came to decide on a major, she made an about face and entered the film department headed by David Rimmer - one of the most important experimental filmmakers working in Canada today. Rimmer is a key figure in the avant-garde film movement and the 2011 winner of the Governor General's award in Visual and Media Arts.
Before graduating from Emily Carr College in 1993, as a Film major, she was awarded six scholarships including the Jean Oser Award of Merit, The Joseph Golland Memorial Scholarship, The Helen Pitt Award Scholarship as well as The Drawing Exhibition Award.
Her success in film led to many more awards including her first film, Do not feed this child (1992) and (1993) See Dick Run, screened at the Toronto International Film Festival, The Montreal Film Festival and The Oregon Film Festival.
Fresh out of Art School, Aunaray (Carol Clusiau at the time) succumbed when sought out by a local Karaoke Music Video Company where she went on to direct 70 music videos for an Asian market. She realized that it was a lot more fun to play with some else’s money and it was here that she discovered hidden talents for choreographing dance as well as set and wardrobe design.
Departing from the strange milieu of Karaoke came in 1995 through acceptance into the prestigious Canadian Film Centre as a Director in Residency where she was challenged to approach the craft with a more conventional, less experimental, dramatic narrative.
After receiving a Canada Council grant and funding from CTV to write, direct and produce Karaoke Queen about her experiences in the unique world of Karaoke, Aunaray moved back to Vancouver in 1998. She continued to work freelance for City TV’s Oh La La, producing TV segments back in her element, in the art world, in galleries, interviewing artists and friends.
Karaoke Queen successfully aired in 2000 on CTV, a cross between her earlier experimental work and the conventional dramatic influence from the Canadian Film Centre.
Shortly after Karaoke Queen, Aunaray was awarded development funding from BC film to write the screenplay Reviving Ophelia.
Under the name Carol Clusiau she has been reviewed in the Vancouver Sun, The North Shore News, Playback Magazine, The Oregonian Press, Take One Magazine, The Montreal Mirror as well as interviews on Co-op Radio Vancouver and The CBC Morning Show.
In search for more meaning, life changed radically in 2000 after attending a Vipassana Retreat and meditating for 10 hours a day, for 10 days, in silence. Pursuing spiritual goals took precedence from this point on, leading to a study of Energy Medicine with Laya Shriaberg at the Spiral Suns School of Healing and becoming a Reiki Master. After spending a brief time as an Energy Medicine practitioner Aunaray completed her Yoga Teacher training at the Salt Spring Center of Yoga in 2007.
During the transitional period from 2000 to 2009 Aunaray was running a Graphic Design business adding into the mix teaching yoga while designing and selling jewelry at the Kelowna Farmers Market.
After 5 years in her studio at The Rotary Centre for the Arts in Kelowna, Aunaray has moved into a new home studio in Peachland. She continues her unique process painting techniques producing impressionistic contemporary artwork, reflecting her playful and inquisitive personality.