My paintings portray hypothetical futures that explore the relationship between nature and the city, simultaneously evoking optimism and concern. Drawing inspiration from my global travels, I merge imagery from multiple locations into a single scene, creating unexpected compositions. By integrating natural elements, such as trees, mountains, and bodies of water, with man-made structures, like skyscrapers, bridges, and highways, I invite viewers to contemplate the intricate ways in which the urban and natural worlds can coexist and interact.
I apply paint with squeeze bottles, manipulating the falling drips with water spritzers and by rotating the canvas. Natural forms emerge out of this organic paint application that mimics how gravity and rain erosion actually create environments. In contrast, my urban imagery is built with architectural precision. Dripping paint is used to create straight lines that are meticulously pre-planned using rulers and levels as tools.
Initially, I used highly saturated colours to express my optimism for a bright and colourful future. However, after having children, I became increasingly concerned about the world we're leaving them. Although my colours remain vibrant, their meaning has evolved to signal alarm and urgency. Some of my work evokes feelings of unease, while other pieces envision a beautiful world where nature and humanity are working together. By depicting both of these potential futures I want people to stop and think about the relationship between nature and cities and its impact on us all.
My artwork portrays the harsh reality of the current state of our planet, depicting the devastating effects of burnt forests, floods, and melting glaciers. Yet, amidst this despair, I also strive to offer a glimpse of hope by imagining a future where humanity and nature can coexist in harmony. I believe that this is possible through innovative solutions like green building design, natural landscaping and renewable energy. By exploring the tension between utopian and apocalyptic visions, I hope to inspire people to take action and do what they can to create a more sustainable world for ourselves and future generations.
Canadian artist Amy Shackleton (b.1986) received her BFA in 2008 from York University. Her work has been written about in Magenta Magazine, Huffington Post, and LUXE Magazine. She has been actively involved as a guest speaker at the Canadian Arts Summit and the University of Cincinnati. Her works are included in the public collections of Museum of Dufferin, Colart Collection and Facebook Canada.
Shackleton was a 2021 recipient of four Ontario Arts Council grants and recommended for multiple Canada Council for the Arts grants. She has received First Choice/Prize Awards from public art jurors, including McMichael Canadian Art Collection (Kleinburg) and Station Gallery (Whitby). Shackleton is the President of the Board of Directors at the Visual Arts Centre of Clarington.
Shackleton has exhibited work across North America and beyond. Solo exhibition venues include THEMUSEUM, Kitchener, ON, Museum of Dufferin, Mulmur, ON and Art Gallery of Northumberland, Cobourg, ON. Group exhibition highlights include “The Carmichael Canadian Landscape Exhibition: Tradition Transformed”, Orillia Museum of Art & History and “Award Winners”, McMicheal Canadian Art Collection.
Shackleton's innovative painting technique has captured the imagination of millions online. This video reveals how she applies and manipulates her paint using squeeze bottles and gravity.
Shackleton's commercial gallery representation dates back to 2009. Visit one of these reputable physical/online galleries to view work in person and/or make a purchase.
Wall Space GalleryView website
Kefi Art GalleryView website
Online Art Gallery