Shona Wilson's new series of sculptural assemblages ‘Offering’ represents the artist’s personal gesture of gratitude to Nature for the tremendous ‘gifted’ bounty. Created solely from found natural material and, specifically, from what the artist had already collected (so as not remove anything ‘new’ from the environment), these works also embody Wilson’s wish to honour and promote a sustainable art practice. Thematically, they canvass our contemporary disconnection from Nature – once a crucial part of our collective being – calling for us to reengage with and rediscover our authentic place within the natural world. ‘We seem to have forgotten that Culture is never outside of Nature’.
Wilson’s ‘offerings’ pulse with a holistic and harmonic vision of the intricate web of Nature that weaves existence. Mesmeric patterns of seedpods, twigs and bone emblemize natural phenomena that often elude human perception, including diatoms (microscopic phytoplankton), fractals (e.g. snowflakes) and cymatics (visual manifestations of sound and vibration). These objects seek to conjure and reveal the energy that created and resides within them. In addition to this, the abstract patterns and forms Wilson references have roots in our domestic cultural heritage and universal spirituality via visual affiliations with mandalas, yantras and lacemaking etc. These interconnections forge a dialogue between the interfaces and thresholds of Nature and Culture, ultimately revealing that these seemingly diametric sectors are inseparably one. This sense of unity is embodied in the positive and negative spaces consciously created in the works, the interplay of shadows and surface visualising the philosophical tenants of yin and yang.
Through their visual harmony of form and material the artist suggests that the works in ‘Offering’ manifest a therapeutic function: ‘I hope these Offerings resonate as healing or therapeutic objects in their own right. They are embedded with the vibrational patterns and tones of the natural world, of the very materials they are made from, and thus they emit the frequencies of the materials within them’. In this sense each Offering is a visual song for and of Nature. As a series Offering becomes a chorus.