Shelagh Wakely


acrylic and ink on canvas
70 7/8 x 59 inches

The late British artist Shelagh Wakely was a pioneer of installation art, using weathered materials and arrangements that suggested temporality and movement. Wakely’s restraint and attention to the negative space within each piece can be found in her drawings as well, as in Oisseu Mouche (“hummingbird” in French) where delicate lines of ink form boundaries that are readily invaded by washes of paint. After sketching the shapes onto the canvas, Wakely carefully filled in the background behind the forms with pale colors, allowing some shapes to be fully submerged in paint. This catalogueue of familiar objects seem to morph into one another, as the abstract forms suggest vases and pottery that change into shells, silhouettes of flowers, hummingbirds, and prisms. Wakely created works for public and private collections, and frequently collaborated with Brazilian artist Tunga.