Artist Statement

When making works of art, my deepest intention is to communicate culminating moments of abandon and strategic intuition.
— Shelita Birchett Benash
HOLY COW_HEAD_DETAIL_SHELITA BIRCHETT BENASH_2015

      I am a multi-media artist with a professional theatre background. My primary medias are mosaic, ceramics and fibre. Recycled materials are essential to my life and work. The salvaged components within my artworks create transformative visual metaphors, where junk finds redemption, and where that which is broken regains its integrity.  I work across several media via pieced connections. Each element that I hand make and gather together is dialoging.  My work is of a piece. I enjoy the expansiveness of working with the multiplicity of pieces, as well as the visual significance and weight of the parts when viewed as whole. The hunting and gathering of salvaged materials, along with the repetition of form through breaking, piecing, wrapping, cutting, shaping and layering, surrounds my method with kinetic energy. Therefore, my connection with my materials is always visceral, organic and elementally surprising. The act of reclaiming and of mindfully hand-piecing is, for me, a meditational practice. It is my sense that the resulting artwork becomes imbued with a devotional spirit. Each time I form the clay I am practicing creativity as a sacred act.  My approach is rooted in Zen arts philosophy and the process arts movement where the artist’s creative crossing combined with her physical actual working are recognized as inherent and valued aesthetics within the final artwork.
     While my multiples in clay explore aspects of devotion and meditation. My large scale mixed media and glass  mosaicked animal series is meant to be pure radiant whimsical fantasy. My art glass, stained glass and mirror mosaicked animals have been commissioned for display in private homes, still they bring joy and wonder when exhibited as public artworks. I enjoy the way the prismatic mosaicked animals literally light up any environment where they are placed, bringing smiles and laughter to both children and adults. 

 

"Holy Cow!" Art glass and mirror mosaic sculpture on fiberglass by Shelita Birchett Benash