Watercolour on paper, unframed
21 x 30 cm
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Here we encounter two sphinxes, red as blood and red as desire. Woman and lion, flesh and fur, they are mixed beings who offer mixed words. Their riddles are the blendings of nonsense and strategy, offering our consciousness the knife edge between the two on which to walk into a higher understanding.
Nooka Shepherd, born 1998 in Brixton, London.
Nooka Shepherd’s work centres on cultivating narratives of symbiosis and harmony between our perceived individual selves and the web of life that makes this planet. Shepherd draws on symbols and imagery from the folklore of these islands to create my own images and objects that become votive, animistic items, encouraging connection to and conversation with place and its more-than-human inhabitants. From this has sprung an interest in talismans, amulets and charms. The small, intimate and personal objects that are things to be held, touched, worn and kept close to the body, wearing us as we wear them. Objects at once vulnerable and commanding of great power. This in turn has led to exploring concepts of language and how we can turn back to symbolism, imagery and the tactile as a way of creating avenues of communication with the land.
Shepherd is also drawn to the exploration of inner, psychological and emotional landscapes of the mind and of the heart- and their relation to place. The matter and the stuff of life that surrounds us. The interchange between our flesh, our thoughts and emotive impressions and particles of dust, photons of light and molecules of water. Looking too at the beasts that roam within our skins as well as in the woods without us that are at once vicious and vulnerable.