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In any industry it’s competitive, hard and demanding but some industries really just take that much more to succeed or breakthrough. The arts industry for example could be one of them, requiring natural talent mixed with a brilliant business mind, good intuition and a real desire to not only succeed but rise above. The person requires thick skin in a sea of rejection, judgement and constant awareness of ones image. All of that put together and to find an individual, who can pull it off, is again rare.
To think a young individual in their twenties has grasped all of these and propelled forward into her own light in just a few short years is amazing, especially when they are in the so competitive world of visual artistry. Visual artist Amy Shackleton is doing just that, with her own unique style Shackleton is pushing through and making a name for herself.
Shackleton has the typical ‘destined for great things’ back story (which is about the only typical aspect about her). Shackleton grew up in a small town outside of Toronto, never really feeling challenged or pushed, always wanting more. Her opportunity to study at York University in Toronto was quickly taken up once high school finished and from there things began to change. Shackleton was brighter than a star as she honed her skills at school and worked on growing her craft with a very subtle but effective determination.
Shackleton finished her B.F.A in 2008 and now with school done it finally gave her the time to see what she was capable of. Shackleton hit the ground running from the start; she found her paintings being purchased almost instantly. It wasn’t long before the young artist found herself leaving her day time office job due to the demand of her paintings. Now with over sixty paintings sold to private and corporate collectors in the past two years, it would seem Shackleton made the right choice.
Shackleton’s work is a beautiful collision of architecture and nature that truly makes the eye dance, explore and appreciate all of the different little details. Working with her own photography, Shackleton’s paintings are inspired by photographs taken throughout her travels. Her inspirations have been pulled from such amazing destinations as Toronto, Morocco, New York, Montreal, London, Venice and Croatia to mention but a few.
The unique images have captured the attention of Galleries all over the board, Shackleton’s work is currently available at the Elaine Fleck Gallery in Toronto where she recently held a show for the month of January (and is one of the top selling artists), in Toronto you can also find Shackleton’s painting in the AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario) rental gallery. On the other side of the country in Calgary, Shackleton’s work is available at the Gerry Thomas Gallery where this month, she unveiled a multi-piece collection! The show will run until April 10, 2011.
Internationally Shackleton is already starting to get some attention, just this past summer Shackleton participated in a group show in Europe. The show titled ‘The Signature Art Awards Exhibition” was held at the Degree Art Gallery in England. Additionally the young artist found herself nominated for the 2010 Palm Art Award in Germany for which she is currently a nominee for. (Link below) All this is said and some might ask “where does she go from here?” Well to answer that question we got Shackleton herself to answer a few questions and give us some insight into what she’s playing with now. “Right now, about 75% of each painting is done without paint brushes” Shackleton states confidently. Shackleton then adds “90% of my recent painting, “Defrost” is done without brushes. My goal is to reach 100%. I like to challenge myself”. Shackleton does admit “It’s not easy for me to stop using the tool that I’m most comfortable with”. That comfort though is exchanged for a great understand and Shackleton says it best “by setting limits, I discover new possibilities and I think it will take my work in a new and exciting direction!
Images provided by Amy Shackleton
Christopher Massardo is an Ottawa-based writer and stylist.