Inspired by her 2017-2018 Blue Star Contemporary Berlin Residency, Ethel Shipton’s solo exhibition at Ruiz-Healy Art concentrates in ideas developed while living in Berlin. During her residence at the Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Shipton took interest in the street art and graffiti culture throughout the city. “I started taking pictures of the graffiti, and the graffiti took me to look at other parts of the city that were interesting to me. So, it was a combination of starting with the graffiti and walking through [Berlin],” shared Shipton. The visual information spray-painted throughout the city defines a cultural manifesto of freedom, unification, and community.
Shipton will exhibit 22 x 30” screenprints of photographs she took of Berlin graffiti as well as some unique works from those images using vinyl and distortion through cutting, tearing, and expanding the image. Furthermore, Shipton will be including a sculptural piece that will lie in the middle of the gallery where people can sit, resonate, and listen to the sounds of the city. When asked about this interactive piece, Shipton explained she wanted to create a space that gave people permission to sit with the artwork and the sounds of the city.
In an analysis of Shipton’s work, Jost Schocke gets at the foundation of her practice: “Shipton’s artistic practice is rooted in the observation of every day and consideration of the (linguistic) conditionality that determines our life. This conceptual starting point culminates indirectly accessible but nonetheless enigmatic works, prompting the viewer to voice fundamental questions.” In this solo show, Shipton continues this thematic fixation on the “every day” and encourages viewers to slow down and take in the sights, sounds, and experiences of Berlin.
Her practice is informed by a strong conceptual base and encompasses a variety of expressions. Through painting, installation, photography, and text, Shipton spotlights instants of clarity that flit by in the comings and goings of daily life. Shipton has exhibited at numerous galleries, including Artpace San Antonio, TX, Museum of Fine Art, Santa Fe, NM; Blue Star Contemporary, San Antonio, TX; Shore Institute of Contemporary Art, Long Beach, CA; Austin Museum of Art, TX; Women and Their Work Gallery, Austin, TX and Studio Santa Catarina, Mexico City. In 2011, Shipton was awarded Artist Honoree of the year at Blue Star Contemporary and in 2017-18 attended the artist in residence Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin.