A Delicate Balance - Ann Sheppard
Original handmade felt masks by Ann Sheppard
I am a painter and felter based in Hexham. I’ve previously shown highly detailed botanical watercolour paintings but, having developed an eye problem recently I have been working more on my felting.
My artistic focus remains on the natural world and in this exhibition I wanted to express something of the disquiet I feel about how we view the extinction and climate crisis.
Individually we call ourselves ‘animal lovers’, we avidly watch wildlife documentaries and we revere David Attenborough. And yet, it’s human behaviour on an individual, corporate and governmental scale that is responsible for the current mass extinction, for the loss of habitat, the pollution and the changing climate.
It is not enough to just be concerned, passivity is not an option anymore – this IS an emergency and requires action. Everything we do is an interaction with the natural world – if we value it we should think about our impacts - protest, consume less and vote carefully and with conscience.
I have been reading dystopian fiction as a bit of light relief from our current predicament and I was inspired by Station Eleven by Emily StJohn Mandel to think about what aspects of a former life I would want to keep alive after an ‘apocalypse’. I thought of all the animals whose existence I would mourn should we lose them. How would I describe them or try to bring them back to life? I settled on the idea of a celebratory masquerade ball and these are just a very selective few of the animals I would invite.
I love to teach needle felting and am always available for demonstrations, workshops and 1:1 or small group sessions.
Please contact me also if you would like to commission anything from a small brooch to a free standing sculpture or mask.
Tel 01434 601399