In Shannon Richardson's recent images, she transcends the boundaries between reality and memory with an element of the fantastic. Each painting becomes a template through which we can imagine our place in the world. Often referencing fairy tales as a way to describe her work, in a sense they are private fables. With a colorful palette and whimsical characters, their surface qualities are reminiscent of childlike stories, but what lies beneath the surface is a darker message grounded in real life experiences. While using her art to both define and obliterate her past, she is able to take some of the severity of life and turn it into something tangible and beautiful, if not quite real. Through her art she has learned to accept and even relish her own eccentricities and imperfections, so much so that we are made privy to the idea of the irregularity of life through the sometimes grotesque beauty in her figures.
Richardson earned a bachelor of fine arts in painting degree with honors from Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland, OR, studying her junior year in Rome, Italy. She has experienced an exceptional story-filled life, which enables her to produce such intense and honest works an early age. She is collected throughout America and in Italy and Germany.
Recent exhibitions include “2005 Art Kudos International Competition" where Richardson was a finalist, juried by Giorgiana Cray Bart, Pennsylvania, 2005 Centerstage Benefit and Art Auction, Centerstage, Boston, MA, 2005 "Faces 2005" Juried International Show, the Blance Ames National Competion at the Ames Museum in North Easton, MA, earning the special “Blance Ames Award”,2005 Upstream People Gallery, Omaha, NE, earning Special Recognition. Publications include “21 to 31” artists under the age of 31 making waves in contemporary art, by Southwest Art Magazine, 2006, and “Fine Young Things” by PDX Magazine highlighting local emerging artists to watch in 2007.
“ There is only honesty in the true moment of something, after that it is just the illusion of memory. But it is these memories that serve as the catalyst for inspiration. I do not intend to render through these works my own personal experiences, I do not wish to share my secrets, I bury these truths below layers of paint, which creates a narrative between reality and fantasy. When these two perceptions intertwine I am able to separate myself from the memory and allow objective observation and imaginative interplay to connect. The work transcends the boundaries between memory and fantasy with an added element of the fantastic; this infuses the works with a sense of romance and reverie. I am able to take some of the gravity of life and turn it into something tangible and beautiful, but not quite real. They are memories as I wish I could remember them. The truth becomes the fable and what I find is not myself, but more the shadow of self and the remnants of dreams. This is a way to be honest without being accurate. In the most private of settings painting allows me to commemorate the occasion of self-discovery, and to understand, with sensitivity, the severity of being honest with myself.”
Shannon Richardson's Work at RiverSea Gallery
Click on the following thumbnails to see bigger pictures.
Past Exhibits at RiverSea Gallery