Sheila is a landscape artist based in Glasgow. Her work is primarily concerned with exploring notions of place and belonging and the evolving relationships between humans and our natural environment in both urban and rural environments. In a world saturated by instant imagery where everyone can find an image of anything or anywhere almost instantly, her work is a deliberate slowing down and seeking out of the parts of an environment that evoke a sense of place. She is fascinated by the intersections between people and nature in planned and re-wilded spaces.  Using a range of techniques including painting, printing and photography, her work is an interpretation of these intersections.  She finds a sense of belonging when creating her version of often overlooked landscapes. She wants to engage the viewer in a dialogue around where and what place is.

Hi Sheila! How did your artistic journey start?
The piece in this show is part of a series of landscape vignettes of memorials I have spotted in and around the Claypits on the Forth and Clyde canal in Glasgow.  It fits into a wider body of work focused on this area that I have been working on for the last few years.

Can you walk us through your creative process?
Well, it’s maybe more a zig-zaggy path than a straight starting at A, ending at B process.  But for the piece in this show, I saw the graffiti on the path first, which drew me to the shirts on the fence and I took a series of photos. I wasn’t quite sure how I would use them, but I wanted to record it. Then it fitted into a transfer process I have been working on based on my photographs. The process for making this piece involved printing out the image, then transferring it onto recycled Khadi paper. The paper gives added texture to the image.

Which artists inspire you? Are there non-artistic influences such as literature or music that impact your work?
There are so many to mention, but Georgia O’Keeffe and Victoria Crowe immediately come to mind. I do listen to a lot of music when I’m working so I’m sure that does have an indirect influence on my work too.

What do you do to keep motivated and interested in your work?
One of the most motivating things is to speak to other people about my work and listen to their thoughts/questions about it. It’s also great to have work in shows like this, to see how it works alongside other art.

What advice would you give to artists who are just starting out?
Believe in yourself and your work! Do what makes you happy not what other people want you to do.

Is there anything else you would like people to know about your work or your experiences as an artist?
This piece is not that typical of a lot of my work, which is more paint-based, so I’d just like people to explore the rest of my work on my website, or to follow me on Instagram.

See Sheila’s work at our first Open Call of the year, MulticulturAlba, running at Six Foot Gallery until Thursday 14th March 2023. You can also find her on Instagram @sheilmacneill

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