Born in England’s North Yorkshire, Clay originally studied Architecture before joining the BBC Television Art Department in the 1970s. As a Production Designer, Clay passionately believes in the quality of design and sees his role as helping to create the psychological climate for a director’s narrative. This principle is evident throughout a diverse body of work that ranges from the fanciful design of the BBC classic The Singing Detective – which earned him his first BAFTA nomination, to the starkly realistic dystopian world of Alfonso Cuaròn’s, Children of Men, which garnered a nomination from the Art Directors Guild and earned him a BAFTA award.
Some of Clay’s credits include such exemplary films as Woody Allen’s Matchpoint and You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, Richard Curtis’ Love Actually, Chris and Paul Weitz’s About a Boy, Atom Agoyan’s Felicia’s Journey, Neil Jordan’s The Crying Game, John Madden’s The Debt, and Great Expectations with director Mike Newell. His recent work includes Red 2 for director Dean Parisot, and John Crowley’s Closed Circuit. Clay just completed Simon Curtis’ Woman in Gold, based on true story of a Jewish refugee fighting to reclaim Gustave Klimt paintings that belonged to her family.