About the Artist
Shirley Vauvelle is a well established British Maker, with a strong national and international following.
Shirley has always made things since childhood, sewing dolls clothes or making things from found natural forms such as sea shells. She has been a designer, educator, gallery owner and now maker/artist showing work in galleries around the Uk. She feels painting and ceramic making overlap with the ceramic surfaces treated as a canvas. Her practise has tended to produce playful component pieces combined with found materials, assemblages inspired by creatures, birds and plants. It is now developing into larger scale semi abstract hand built sculptural ceramic forms .
Shirley’s art education background and initial design career was in textile/surface decoration, studying at Chester college for a foundation course and Leicester Polytechnic for a BA Hons, graduating in 1987. Self taught in ceramics, she works from a light filled studio in her home, which has been featured in publications and is situated near the east coast english seaside town of Filey. An important part of her surroundings is her garden which is continuously being developed and evolving, full of many interesting plants selected for form, texture or colour, many of which are used within her work
This latest collection of new work is inspired by a trip to Morocco, described by Shirley as a “very intimate valley landscape high up in the Moroccan Atlas mountains. In Spring it is lush and green, with almond blossom and new growth emerging from darkened branches. In a glade down by the mountain river there is a very special place that will always stay with me. A unique landscape with huge sculptural boulders mapping the river, set strong and heavy against the lightness of nature”
This work has evolved over a long period of time since her trip where she immersed herself in drawing the immense landscape. Paintings were also produced and works are still on going. The sense of place in the valley besides being unlike anything else, had an overwhelming calmness. The experience has led to hand built sculptures and assemblages in stoneware clay with found materials. Many of these pieces were created in lockdown in her studio near Scarborough in North Yorkshire. With the luxury of more time to appreciate peace and nature, allowing thinking space to the stages of development, it is very much reflected in how the pieces have evolved.
The work is now moving forward to be more reflective of her own surroundings of the coast, with shape, colours and moods. Exploring textured slip surfaces, playing with found materials onto the clay and with strong form.