Shona Rae Studio

ARTIST BIO:
Shona Rae was a professional clay sculptor before a series of dreams led her to begin studying the metal arts in 1994. She received her Diploma in applied art and design from the Kootenay School of the Arts in 1998 and her BFA with distinction from the Alberta College of Art in 2000.

Shona has been practicing as a professional artist, goldsmith and designer ever since as well as teaching and running an art jewellery gallery, INFLUX, from 2004-2011 downtown Calgary.

Ms. Rae has won numerous government grants, national and international awards for her work including, the Award of Excellence from the Alberta Craft Council in 2015, the Alumni Award of Honour from ACAD and the Steel Trophy Award from the Canadian Metal Arts Guide in 2016.

Shona Rae recently finished her opus body of work consisting of 22 fairytale sculptural rings that she began in 1998, launching a 30 minute documentary about the creation of one of the pieces, "The Singing Bones"

Shona has completed commissions for the Glenbow Museum, the Calgary Policeforce, two local Catholic churches, Lougheed House, as well as, countless wedding rings, special occasion jewellery and sculpture.

A deep commitment to her visual art practice is augmented with her love of performance. She is the lead singer/songwriter for Shona Rae and the VooDoo Hand, an original Swamp-a-billy rock and roll band in Calgary.

ARTISTS STATEMENT:
A lifelong fascination and study of myth, fairy tales and ancient religious artifacts are the major influences in my artwork. I believe that in our urge to tell stories we seek to give order and meaning to our lives, explain natural phenomena and understand the human condition.

Goldsmith techniques and metalwork lay the foundation for my visual artwork, while the carving of natural materials such as bone and antler is very satisfying. I feel a greater connection to storytelling when I use these materials. I am reminded that life is tenuous and fragile, yet the human spirit is strong. In today’s technologically driven society it is important to me to use my hands, my heart and my mind to create singular objects that serve the human inclination to adorn our person and our environment with objects of meaning and beauty. My sculptural artwork also, at times, purposely strives to bring the viewer discomfort to provide a platform to provoke the discourse on what I see as the “zombification” of our culture. As long as we continue to ignore the serious issues of global warming, overpopulation and the poisoning of our environment we are wandering aimlessly, brainlessly, eating ourselves and our children’s future. Art making provides a vehicle that I use to address issues that are of concern and enables me to reach out and empower my community to work towards meaningful solutions. I feel honoured to have the privilege of creating art and music for a living for over three decades.

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