Shannon Estlund

My paintings and sculpture reference natural forms and spaces while using overlapping and contradictory information. The objects fuse natural and found materials into forms that convey their own uncanny nature. I use abstraction in order to explore the underlying emotional content of an object or place and in order to incorporate multiple meanings, inviting the viewer to become an active participant in interpreting the work.

I am interested in places and objects that both capture the senses in a direct experiential way, and function as metaphors for archetypal situations. Obstructions, entanglements, clarity and light are all both physical experiences and metaphors for points in our own life story. Many of my paintings feature potential destinations in the far distance, drawing the viewer into the deep illusionistic space while simultaneously resisting entry with passages of paint that hover on the surface. The sculptures bring the world of the paintings into the viewer’s space. A conversation between the paintings and sculpture is developed through color, texture, and repeated form.

My subject matter focuses on unidealized natural spaces and objects that are readily accessible and often overlooked- perfectly formed sticks found beside the path; unkempt areas at the edges of suburbs or beside isolated stretches of highway. What these subjects have to offer is an aesthetic experience that allows one to exist in the moment, and a potential for exploration and adventure. The spaces are both real and imaginary, and function both as instances of actual sensory experience and metaphors for decisive moments in everyday life.

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