Artist in residence: Shelley Freeman

"Pass-through"

You can meet Shelley Freeman during her artist talk on Thursday 26 October, 7:30 pm in the Nonesuch Café at Main & Station, 168 Main Street, Parrsboro.

Shelley Freeman is a visual artist with family roots in Nova Scotia, Manitoba, Alberta, B.C. and England. She grew up in Hudson Heights, Quebec, surrounded by art created by her great-grandfather, grandfather, grandmother, mother and 2 brothers.

For the past 18 years, Shelley’s painting has focused on interpreting empty spaces that exist within natural phenomena such as caves, rocks, water and ice formations, and man-made structures such as abandoned mines and tunnels. She is an active caver and combines hiking and travel with research into the underground.

I am intrigued by the idea of the “underground landscape”: it is difficult to see, confined, absolute and claustrophobic, in contrast with a terrestrial landscape that presents itself to us as distant and limitless, extending laterally and heavenward with no apparent boundaries.

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Shelley states that it is not simply the visual representation of underground and underwater spaces that interests her.

She is also concerned with illusion, ambiguity of scale, the juxtaposition of light and dark masses, and the combination of figurative and abstract elements in the same composition.

Shelley is currently working on a series of paintings depicting deep areas in pools of water. She says “the underwater world may be perceived as empty, even though in reality, it teems with colour and movement, sometimes too subtle to be visible at the surface.”  She plans to use her time in resdiency to explore new ways of incorporating more abstract elements into her compositions.

For more information about Shelley and what she does, check out her site  http://www.shelleyfreeman.ca

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