Born in Hay River, NWT, Shelley has lived in Edmonton, Switzerland, and five Canadian provinces.
Her work, both large and small, reflects her interest in caring for and nurturing others, particularly people with post-traumatic stress disorder. Through her art, she is exploring the question, “If what someone has seen can break a person, can an image be a part of their healing?”
Shelley’s tiny hand-painted landscapes in vintage medicine tins become portals to other parts of the world; they are “medicinal” paintings that can offer relief in times of deep distress.
Her large-scale abstract plaster frescoes are chipped and broken to reveal appealing colours and textures in the layers of pigment, ash, and clay; various “repairs” create the final image. Their frescoes’ larger size and open-ended interpretations are meant to provide a type of therapy that releases over time.
Shelley’s work resides in many countries, including at the New Karolinska Solna hospital in Sweden.