Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Paint, String, Maps and the Number 37: Artist Erin Shaw

Erin Shaw, Oklahoma City
Erin Shaw, Lost City: Map 2, Quadrant 37, Acrylic on canvas with string, 12"x12"
Q: Tell us about the inspiration for your 12x12 piece.
Erin Shaw: More and more I realize that my work stems from a question. Usually something I’m wrestling with, something I’m trying to make sense of or reconcile.

Much of my research and recent exploration has dealt with maps, mapmaking, map related imagery, and brain plasticity.

When I view the map as a metaphor applied to my own life, I find it a rich subject. It certainly shows me where I have been, but in the same way, all the places I have yet to go, it shows me the value of exploration, it shows me the things I do not yet know, it highlights relationships and makes things visible that otherwise were not.

I’m especially inspired by the intricacies of the brain and my limited ability to understand it’s limitless capacity. In order to wrestle with these thoughts, I have to work with something tangible. It’s the only way I know how to investigate the intangible. Essentially, I suppose I’m inspired by my own limitations and at the same time, my desire to reach beyond them.

I’m also inspired by the color blue. The number 37. And the letter S.

Q: How did you execute it technically?
ES: Technically, I am trying to use as little technique as possible. My main goal has been to make room for chance and accident, to lose the control that I have been used to and see what I might learn from the process.

Essentially I am layering wet paint into wet paint and watching how the colors move and blend and interact with each other.

Q: In what upcoming venues might audiences be able to see your work?
ES: My work can be viewed at the Marvin Embree Art Gallery and Studio in the Paseo as well as the following:
-Kansas State University will include my work in a collaborative Graduate exchange show, opening later this month.
-The small works show at JRB at the Elms, opening in November.
-500 X gallery in Dallas will host a collaboration in April between myself and photographer, Diane Mcgurren.

View and purchase artwork by 150 Oklahoma artists October 1, 2011 at the 12x12 Art Fundraiser.  Buy tickets, read more and see pictures at

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