SHAUNA ANGEL BLUE
About The Artist
Shauna Angel Blue earned her MFA in photography at Chicago’s Columbia College (2000) where she received the prestigious Albert P. Weisman Scholarship award. Her work has been exhibited in numerous national venues such asLinda Warren Gallery, Chicago, Flatfile Gallery, Chicago and SRO Photo Gallery in Austin, Texas; and internationally at the Science Museum in London with several galleries throughout Holland. Blue has been a finalist for the Illinois Arts Council Fellowship, a three time recipient of the CAAP Grant from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, and has been awarded many exhibition prizes and honors including an award for figurative photography from the Ultimate Eye Foundation along with a project grant from the Judith Dawn Memorial Fund. Her works are represented in such collections as the FraAngelico Art Foundation, River Forest, IL, Columbia College, Chicago, IL, Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction, Bloomington, IN, Center for Fine Art Photography, CO and the Beijing Natural Culture Center, Beijing, China.
MON is a beautiful island in Denmark, surrounded by the Baltic Sea. It holds everything a little girl can wish for on a summer day while listening to fairy tales and daydreaming them to life before her eyes. When I was little, I listened to stories written by Hans Christian Anderson over and over on my 78 record player.
Several decades later, at an art opening, I re-met a woman who I had known in college, and she and her husband had just bought a home on this Danish island MON. Over the course of three summers we were able to rent their home, and used that time to make art and explore the land. Among the most exciting discoveries on MON were its white chalk cliffs, the highest point in Denmark, where it is said Odin went to live when Christ came, as well as several stone burial mounds and standing stones, and a castle in a garden called Liselund. Hans Christian Anderson had been once been invited to stay at Liselund and write for a time. One of his stories is called "The Nightingale Queen" which gave this series of photographs its name. The last time I visited MON was in the spring time and for the first time in my life, one morning at 4 AM, I heard a Nightingale sing. It was the most beautiful sound. This series is dedicated to that exquisite bird.
Concrete Village: RUIN
A trip to the Louvre or the British Museum reveals row upon row of crude and small scale figurative sculptures created in ancient times, which exude a magnetic and powerful charm.
A similar quality of human desires and ideals, I have found, exploring the grounds of a garden statuary manufacturer, which I have recently discovered.
I was inspired by the replication of the single masterpieces; the degradation of those idealized forms through the process of mold formed concrete; and the destruction and dissolution of these sculptures that can be found in the cast offs and rejects deposited in the factories dumping grounds.
I am interested in exploring and exposing what it means for us to continue making these sculptures and in the way we do. To what degree do the cast off images still carry the numinous glow of the originals? How do these sculptures both ancient and modern copy become emblematic of the human attempt to stave off physical corruption; to become like the gods and angels we depict?
Ultimately, these sculptures, to me, reveal a surreal world of humor, beauty, sensuality, decay, strangeness and history.