Having moved from Hackney to Devon to complete an MA in Arts and Ecology, Shelley now works from a converted Victorian Game Larder donated by her patron on a privately owned estate in South Devon. She names Folk Art, Outsider Art and work from the global recycled arts and crafts world as inspirations. Main thematic strands include relationships between species and the natural world, climate change issues around energy, food and extinction rates, and explorations of ‘native’ and ‘foreign’.
For the past three years I have had the luxury of an amazing and free space which I manage to get to about four times a week. It is an octagonal game larder on the edge of woodland and by the side of an orchard, where I’m growing quince. Most working days are punctuated by walks by the Erme river, photographing and tending the various patches of land around the studio. I am clearing the woodland of laurel and am soon to start a Victorian stumpery for ferns and fungi.
At present she is working on a series of collaborative drawings with Anna Keleher, as well as several creative arts projects for Encounters Arts and some small-scale installations around food, nests and feathers. Made on recycled plywood using oil on gesso, her paintings are drawn from a love of birdlife and started with an early series ‘They Sing in Colour’ which grew out of research around birds seeing more colours than we do and the roots of human language.
I am also a very active associate member of a community arts organisation called Encounters, with whom I work on several projects that address a wide variety of needs.
The most recent series of paintings are based on Birdlife’s increasingly extensive ‘Critically Endangered Possibly Extinct’ list. Her three-dimensional works are made using local beeswax, branches, lichen and feathers collected from roadkill or from her local vets. Collages and prints are available online for sale. get in touch.
Every year I am in the Devon Open studios which take place during September, get in touch if you would like to visit.