Shelagh Fenner Light Abstract by Shelagh Fenner

Selected artworks




FAQ still by Shelagh Fenner

Running time: 0:52

The questions featured in this work are in fact questions put to the artist by the children themselves, and appear roughly in the order they were asked. However, these very questions are amongst some of the most basic questions the human race has been asking itself for millennia. For this reason, this work may be seen as representing man’s sense of curiosity, to search beyond this reality, to look for an understanding (whether real or otherwise) beyond everyday experience.

The look or aesthetic of the work is very much symbolic: the children represent humanity and, like children, humankind has limited knowledge which is constantly being challenged and broadened through asking questions - hence the aging of the voices throughout the video. The masks represent the incompleteness of this knowledge: Like the faces on the screen, we can never fully identify what is before us and, thus, must find a way of coming to terms or compromising our understanding. On this level the work feeds into the realm of epistemology, a branch of philosophy which asks:
    Who are the knowers?
    By whom and on what grounds is knowledge constructed and validated?

Given this epistemological basis for the work, the artist sees a connection with other works, such as ‘Be’ which asks us to consider our roles as individuals and how our role or sense of self can be measured against the sometimes overwhelming complexities of society.

Do we matter?


Cantata still by Shelagh Fenner

Running time: 4:53

This work represents the act of faith, but not primarily a religious act. One of the artist's interests is concerned with belief and how we manifest or act out our beliefs. The most obvious form of this is the religious form and the one that most people associate belief with. The aim of this work is to show an individual in the process of contemplation accompanied with the visual suggestion of the generation of positive thought or emotion. The veils represent the gathering of thoughts or feelings and their eventual transmission through hope, belief or aspiration. The ascension of the veils are symbolic of the process of transcendence; of the manifestation of belief, through hope; the act of meditation or prayer.

Within the broader body of the artist's work, this video pays homage to the concept of existentialism and the ability to survive in the face of adversity, through sheer personal will, perseverance and aspiration.


O Deus Meus

O Deus Meus still by Shelagh Fenner

Running time: 3:56

The sense of hope and the power of positive thought are acknowledged in this work, which is intended to effect an uplifting and meditative response upon the viewer.

The video shows the artist stood draped in cloth over which dapples of coloured light move across and all around the concealed body. The light represents feelings or thoughts of hope and aspirations, which move spontaneously about the figure. The figure's identity is concealed to promote a sense of universal empathy.

A sense of stillness is created through the barely perceptible movement of the figure, yet there is a continuous movement of light displayed around it. This bringing together of stillness and movement creates a subtle visual paradox enhanced by the illusion of the image as a photograpgh mounted on a page. The viewer is invited to interpret this through their own sense of visual bias.



Sustain still by Shelagh Fenner

Running time: 7:09

Sustain is an atmospheric mood-changing piece.

It features the artist inhaling smoke for the entire duration of the video.

The soundtrack is the artist’s distorted voice.


Mirror Mum

Mirror Mum Still by Shelagh Fenner

Running time: 6:09

Mirror Mum features the artist’s mother applying her make-up in front of a mirror.

The work responds to issues surrounding memory and communication. It both reveals the ritual of a common-place event and highlights an emotional realization of the passing of time through the generations.

The soundtrack features the voices of the artist and her daughter.



Light Abstracts

Light Abstract 1 by Shelagh Fenner Light Abstract 2 by Shelagh Fenner Light Abstract 3 by Shelagh Fenner

Light Abstract 4 by Shelagh Fenner Light Abstract 5 by Shelagh Fenner Light Abstract 6 by Shelagh Fenner

Fleeting moments of light.


Fatima 1 by Shelagh Fenner Fatima 2 by Shelagh Fenner Fatima 3 by Shelagh Fenner Fatima 4 by Shelagh Fenner




'Be' installation still by Shelagh Fenner

Multi-screen video installation

On an aesthetic level, this work creates a tension between our viewing of a still and a moving image. Each projected image is a video portrait.

However, as this work has developed, it has increasingly revealed a focus on individual diversity.

In many ways, Be sets up the whole ethos of the artist's work, by asking us to stand back and consider more fully the fact of the individual. People often under-estimate individuality; this complexity of thought and emotion which must manage itself within the turmoil that is society.

Be offers the viewer a breathing space to consider the individual as self and as other. The aim is to encourage empathy, for the viewer to consider his own musings and time of reflection. This aspect of the work presents a possible point of transference for intellectual and emotive concerns to develop between the relationship of the work and the observer of the work. The work offers a time to reflect upon the self in an active sense and to consider the ramifications of this within the broader context of self, society and other.


Be is ongoing.

If you would like to become a part of it, contact the artist.




IS151b or The Quintessential English Fruit Bowl

'IS151b' installation still by Shelagh Fenner

Running time: 4:20

IS151b is the notice of removal issued to illegal entrants whose application to the UK government for asylum has been refused. The sub-title is a metaphor of how we select and stereotypify some aspects of foreign cultures for their decorative quality and leave the rest to decay through dismissal.

The text (written by Hüseyin Angay and spoken by Törem Sümer) can be read from a dual perspective: either that of the fruit making their journey to our fruit bowls or that of illegal migrants making a similar, though arguably more tragic, journey.

©2007 Shelagh Fenner -- Contact the artist