Shapes and spaces

Sheila Ghidini and Irene Nelson

Artists make things, sometimes the work matters, sometimes it doesn’t.  The ideas that set the work into motion, that bring the materials into relation are what matters.  They are the catalyst for a balancing act that sustains the mind, body and soul of each maker of things.

Shapes and spaces are the focus of two such artists, Irene Nelson and Sheila Ghidini.  The easiest access into the work for the viewer might be the basic visual elements that initially confront them; line, shape, form, color, value and space.  Layered within these are the ideas of the work.  Irene Nelson, uses strong interrelated shapes to convey her ideas about being in the world, about facing fear, about being still in her act of self-discovery.  The negative spaces take on the responsibility of holding the parts together, while the vibrant colors hold the viewer’s eye to the work.

The negative spaces that Ghidini focuses on are reassembled from their original forms into new arrangements that take shape as sculptures. Utilizing found domestic chairs, these arrangements are often times far from the original structures which were the catalyst for the process of disassembling and reassembling.  Since the origin of each form was a chair (and a tree before that), the maker is aware that it served as a locator in space for someone who once inhabited the space of the chair or in the case of the tree, as a grounded form also integrally connected to place. She finds the space inside and around this mini architecture to be compelling and being charged with an energy of time and place.  

Artist Statements

Chairs are a reoccurring image in my work both two and three dimensionally. Chairs are markers in space and can become signifiers for place and location.  My interest in this mini architecture began during graduate study and has persisted.  I find the basic structure of a chair and its rudimentary relationship to architectural space compelling. Found chairs become starting points for sculptural objects for me, my graphite drawings are layered studies of this structure as I fold it onto itself or open it up.  

All of my work is an exploration of spatial relationships.  Systems of metric mapping of spaces have taken the form of sculptures, drawing and installations.  Isometry; folding, layering and rotating spaces has been my means in all of these forms.  The series presented in Shapes and Spaces draws attention to the reassembled spaces found between and around the deconstructed and reconstructed chair shapes.  These new relationships may or may not reference what the chair was, but the locations and spaces from which the chairs were found does.

Sheila’s work reminds us of what is easily forgotten outside moments of

poetic and artistic attention: There is a horizon beyond our knowing.

Summer Lee from “Art does not reproduce the visible, it makes the visible.” Paul Klee

 -Sheila Ghidini, 2021

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