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Dee Shiels


Artist Statement
I am a mixed media artist with professional qualifications and 30 years experience in working with disadvantaged communities in an educational/development role. I have a particular interest in the use of creativity and the arts as a tool for community and personal development. My practice is influenced by a personal interest in social and political history. It is this history, ancient and contemporary that shapes and influences our identities, character and attitudes, quietly weaving threads through our existence. Our lives intrinsically interconnected across history, continents, borders and cultures. The multiple associations we have with one another through the past, present and future. These associations I see as both positive and negative, life affirming yet contradictory.
I feel the ghosts and shadows of the past leaving multiple layers of impressions, imprints, beliefs and barriers beneath the surface of our lives and the environment in which we live.
My work will often reflect collections, communities and repetition. Work is often in a limited palette and in a variety of materials, using several processes. The current source of my work is very personal and includes old photographs of people and places both rural and industrial.
Harmony, discord and the striving for a sense of equilibrium within both self and society are important to me and are often present in my work.

1974 to 2006
I worked within charitable and local government organisations, providing learning opportunities for all ages in community settings. A large majority of these opportunities were devised and developed around cultural and creative arts including; carnivals, dance & drama productions, graffiti art, murals, children’s arts & crafts, traditional/cultural crafts, community newspapers, creative campaigning, family learning workshops.
1998 to 2012
In 1998 I decided to look to my own creative development and joined the University of Nottingham as a part time undergraduate student to read Fine Art and over the next eight years worked towards a BA (Hons) Fine Art (First Class), which I was awarded in June 2006. In December of 2006 I relinquished my career within Community Education in order to concentrate on my own art.
In 2007 I joined Harrington Mill Studios and became an active member, participating in Open Studio events and joint exhibitions.
Since becoming a full time professional artists I have furthered my creative skills by studio practice and participating in various workshops/art courses with the University of Nottingham, East Midlands School of Entrepreneurs, Leicester Print Workshop and Lakeside arts.


Solo Exhibitions & Curatorial work

2001 Curator, exhibition of photographs and educational material for ‘Caribbean Showcase’ Royal Festival Hall.
2006 Curator, photographic exhibition at Leicestershire Arts in education, ‘Caribbean Carnival Arts’ summer school.
2008 Publicity Design for Jamaica Ochio Rios international Jazz Festival.
2009 ‘Emissaries from the Past’ solo exhibition at Harrington Mill Studios.

Joint Exhibitions

2000 ‘ PEACE’ work to celebrate the UN year of peace. University of Nottingham
2007 ‘Identity’ West End Gallery Aldershot, Women’s Work Exhibition.
2010 ‘View Point Artists’ Friar Lane Gallery, Nottingham.
2010 East Coast Arts Festival. Beach Hut Galleries
2011 ‘View Point Artist’. Friar Lane Gallery, Nottingham
2011 ‘View Point Artists’. Woolaton Hall, Yard Gallery, Nottingham.
2012 ‘View Point Artists’ Friar Lane Gallery, Nottingham.

Open Exhibitions

2004 Summer exhibition, Djanogly Art Gallery, Nottingham
2004 Cedric Ford Life Long Learning in Arts. University of Nottingham
2006 Summer Exhibition, Djanogly art gallery, Nottingham
2006/7 Open 18, Leicester City Art Gallery.
2008 Open 19, Leicester City Art Gallery
2008 Summer Exhibition, Djanogly Art Gallery, Nottingham
2008 Open 20, Leicester City Art gallery.
2009 Beetroot Tree Art gallery, Breaston, Derbyshire
2010 Summer Exhibition, Djanogly Art gallery, Nottingham
2011 Summer Exhibition, Djanogly Art gallery, Nottingham.
2011 East Midlands Open, Tarpey Gallery, Castle Donnington, Derbyshire.

International Joint Exhibitions

2011 ‘ Through a glass Lightly’ Go/c/art gallery, Visby, Gotland, Sweden
2012 ‘The Darkness of Light’ Keumsan Gallery, Seoul, South Korea.
2012 Blume Gallery, Asian Art Fair, Seoul, S. Korea

Community Arts

2008 Creativity workshops for children and parents, Leicestershire County Council.
2009/10 Commissioned by Fleet Arts Derbyshire on behalf of the Derwent World Heritage Site to develop and implement the “Re;connaissance Art project”