Artist Profile: Of Kabbala and Shekhina – Shelley Krycer Talks About her Work
By Shelley Krycer:
My work tends to start with an idea or a feeling and come from quite a wordless place, so turning the formless into form can be quite an interesting process. An interest that keeps coming back relates to something about bringing different elements together. Parts of an unseen whole either dispersing or unifying. I’m also interested in capturing the energetic quality of what it’s like to be alive in a human body. This is why often my figures are ‘incomplete.’ They focus, like one’s awareness on one aspect at a time with a feeling of the whole. Or perhaps they are simultaneously physical form and intangible vibration swell.
Lately I’ve been working with watercolour and drawing and bringing these components together digitally. I use digital media to give the works a greater softness and earthiness, qualities not usually associated with a digital processes. Yet this way of working gives me a freedom to experiment with bringing together different elements, linking the careful with the spontaneous and to be able to layer different components without the images becoming too heavy.
Visually I draw inspiration from all over the place. The world around me, the colours
and textures in the forest I live in (Dandenong Ranges), and artistic influences range from Klimt to Proto-Renaissance Italian paintings to Japanese concepts of Wabi-Sabi to the collage like aesthetic of contemporary street artists. I learned from the work of street artist Troy Lovegates (aka Other) how to bring together the different visual languages I was previously working with in parallel.
I am also very fascinated by and inspired by different creation stories and other spiritual texts. There are a few key ones that fill me with a feeling of awe at the greatness of creation. I find the Taoist text the Tao Te Ching so incredibly visual and powerful. I’m also interested in Kabbalistic concepts like the shattering of the vessels and the divine feminine presence of the Shekhinah. Jewish rituals, community and traditions also play a big part in my life and I’m sure that comes through my work.
spark in each of us. The images presented in Genesis of the formation of the world and the creation of humanity with the breath of life flowing into us through our nostrils definitely influences my work. The form of the mountain also keeps surfacing as a motif in my work and when I read about direct contact with the divine at Mount Sinai in Exodus I feel excited by the descriptions of sacred power being felt in the physicality of nature. The description of divinity being so close to our tangible reality hold so much power for me. This is a big influence for me and a reminder that we’re surrounded by the divine everyday.
On other creative projects:
I’m currently doing some art mentoring and teaching art workshops at an amazing art studio
in Belgrave called the tiffaney bishop COLLECTIVE. I really enjoy sharing something I’m passionate about with others. These workshops are a great opportunity to propose creative problems and work with a group of people to develop all kinds of creative responses. I also do some freelance design too. I love the process of collaborating with someone to create something that embodies both my aesthetic and their vision. This builds on what I do and stretches me to work in ways that are not habitual which in turn inspires my artistic practice.
I love this!