‘Drawing’ with natural found detritus is at the core of my art practice. Nature is the catalyst for the work but not necessarily it’s subject. I am attracted to utilizing the small, the overlooked and the bypassed, re-describing and transforming materials, which usually decay and have no ‘value’. Although the work may be rooted by its materiality to my personal travels and daily life, it ranges thematically and metaphorically to a much broader sense of place, bridging my personal cultural heritage through modern western sciences to universals.
The materials such as seedpods, fish scales, seaweed, insects, leaves, twigs, bones, feathers etc have become like a set of keys, unlocking doors into the realms of history, science, memory and imagination. Collecting is integral to my work process. The collected material is brought back to the studio, cleaned, catalogued, disassembled and rearranged in a transformative process. The time I spend in these processes allows for logical and intuitive connections to be made between the material and my other areas of interest such as architecture, crafts, fairytales and mythology, Zen minimalism, microbiology, and ecology.
I have been making series of 'open -work' assemblages or ‘3-D drawings’ for many years. These essentially 2-D wall mounted constructions become 3-D when their shadows build other physical and metaphorical dimensions into the work. Light ironically becomes a tool, producing a ‘shadow-drawing’ which mitigates a tangible experience of the duality (solidity/fragility, permanence/impermanence) of the material world -the insubstantial creating form and substance. The light-created shadows are intrinsic to the work,engaging negative space – marking the void.
Interventions into and the morphing of the natural world is a fertile field for current exploration. The ever-increasing cross-pollinations between human activity and nature generate infinite possibilities for new forms and extinctions - evolution/devolution. As a result found plastics are symbolically embedded into my current works and now part of my palette.
Artist Bio / CV
Shona Wilson (Australia) b.1964, graduated in sculpture from Sydney College of the Arts in 1990. Originating from self-funded installations, Shona has a 15yr history of regular, successful commercial shows in Australia. Her core practice involves the re-assembly of found natural detritus via the transformative processes of repetition and series making. A current theme, distilled from a long–term dialogue with natural materials is nature’s evolution/devolution resulting from human cross- pollination.
Recently Shona was selected for ‘Immanence- Nature, Beauty and Organic Abstraction’, Samstag Museum of Art, (UniSA) 2010. Short-listed for the Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize (2004) and Blake Prize for Religious Art (2003), she is included in the Stanthorpe, Manly and Shepparton Regional galleries and the Macquarie Bank Collection amongst others.
Shona is represented by King St Gallery on William -Sydney and Mossgreen Gallery -Melbourne. She has participated in numerous group shows and is regularly reviewed in Australian publications.
Shona was the Australian recipient of the Art Omi International Artists Residency 2010 NY USA and the Noosa Travelling Scholarship Grant 2010, QLD .