Colour has always been integral to my process-driven art practice. In a moment it has the ability to make one feel calm, excited, dark or uplifted. I use it for it’s evocative nature and also as a tool of self expression: my selected colour palette is often subliminally affected by my internal state of mind. I used to work exclusively in oils, intuitively mixing colour, but then extended my repertoire of media and evolved into a more mixed media approach, often incorporating elements of collage, glitter, words, symbols and spray into my work.
GLITTER GRADIENTS – SUBVERTING NORMS
My glitter gradient work afforded me the opportunity to explore further my love for colour and the experimental nature of my practice. I developed a process of combining airbrush and glitter, media not conventionally associated with one another. The raw canvas is washed with layers of glitter and pigment particle-laden glue over which I finely airbrush the colour. The result is paired-back paintings shot through with radiance, where colour and particles coalesce on the canvas to shimmering effect
Glitter is a substance not usually associated with fine art, but rather cast off as a tacky material, reserved for the likes of crafts and makeup. Here this notion is subverted by including it in the artwork as a means to establish materiality for the painting and it is used in the sizing process, a traditional fine art practice. The point of what can be accepted as art is further reinforced with the inclusion of emojis into my paintings, such as heart, drops and clouds, symbols usually assigned to phone screens and digital media, thereby championing further the use of the non-traditional in art.
Some colour gradient paintings are left completely devoid of all figurative content because of the highly emotive capacity of colour, giving the viewer the opportunity to drift into their own internal world, establishing an intimacy with the work.
GLITTER WEAVE – A PRACTICE BORN OUT OF FLAWS
Trying to achieve a smooth, airbrushed gradient whilst working with materials such as gloopy glue, bumpy particles and raw linen is very challenging. The glitter weave series was born out of all the inventory of glitter gradients which had to be removed from their bars due to their flaws.
A glitter weave involves the making of two paintings: one to be destroyed and another to be reconstructed. First I create an entire particle-laden colour field painting, only to remove it from its bars, cut it into strips and then reconstruct it into a weave, which is bonded and wrapped around another canvas.The colours are carefully assembled in mathematically numbered sequences to produce paintings with shifts in tone or hue, in mono or multi-chromatic schemes. The physicality of this process flies in the face of an increasingly digital art age.
In order to make something I have to go through something. Making the art brings with it a lot of meaning and purpose to my life as I have to engage so deeply in this process-driven practice. My artwork is a journey, there is no end point, but only an ever evolving, expansive ride.
Shelly is a visual artist, raised in South Africa, of Israeli origin and now working from her studio in North London. She completed a Law degree in South Africa and is a self taught artist who turned her attention to painting, after a career in the City of London, alongside having 3 children.
Her shimmering paired back colour field paintings explore a process of mixing unconventional materials together to create a surface where glitter, paint and pigment particles coalesce to incantatory effect. Her process-intensive paintings are non-representational and reductive in nature, exploring elements of colour, materiality and intimacy. Things not usually assosciated with art such as glitter, emojis and words are included in her work subverting notions of what is acceptable as art.
Shelly has produced numerous commission pieces for private individuals and restaurants, collaborated with interior designers such as Kelly Hoppen. She has exhibited in group shows as well as in Art Fairs such as The Really Affordable Art Fair, Roys Art Fair and The Other Art Fair.
The artist currently works from her home studio in London, where she lives with her 3 children.