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Currently as an artist, I work mainly with acrylic on canvas. Lately, my work explores the visual narrative of bodies in water. Growing up in San Diego, I developed a fascination for the ocean and its transformative powers. Water cleanses, but it also distorts: it obscures, refracts, and rearranges. I hope to harness that movement, not only of light through water, but of the physical body broken apart and reimagined within a new territory. Water enacts a kind of violence, pushing back against us by creating unrecognizable shapes, fissures, and blurred demarcations, while ultimately revising our perception of the normative human form. In these liminal spaces, my hope is to disrupt the body-typified and reimagine ourselves within the Anthropocene.

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Emily Shackelford is a painter and mixed media visual artist. She has produced several commissioned pieces, from small paintings on paper to large-scale murals. She did not go to school for visual art, but had the great luck of enrolling in one rendering course in college. She loves the storytelling opportunities visual art can provide, and finds peace and emotional expression through her drawing and painting practice.


everything is granular 

what holds us together is perception 

if I zoomed in on myself, to a molecular level, I would see that I am made up of separated pieces. these pieces, atoms, are moving faster than anyone can perceive, and so there is a blurring effect, visually, physically, and thus I believe myself to be a solid, connected, constructed thing.

I wanted to capture this perception, emotionally, and in process. The action of perceiving. perceiving the body disintegrate into pieces, or the counter movement: that blurring effect: perceiving all the pieces connecting together. 


these paintings are a collection of times I played with this idea. In each of these the image is bisected by a plane, (what might look like a surface of water), allowing one side, to be the connected constructed version of the body. while the other side of the plane, is this imagined, granular, ever moving, concoction of separate pieces. And so my question when I look at them, is - in which direction is it moving, are the pieces coming together or are they falling apart. Or is it a constant balance of both. 

photo by Vaughan Harrison

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