Shannon Rankin

I’ve been following Shannon Rankin’s work since she lived in one of the studio apartments above our store when we were located on Congress Street in Portland.  What I admire most about her work is her craftsmanship.   Precise cuts and colors and the time she takes to translate her ideas make Shannon’s work outstanding.  While she is currently working with maps, she agreed to revisit a series she did with layers of overlapping grey vellum to create pieces evoking the healing art of Simpling.  She is also creating a series of sculptures from her Heirloom series using textile, wax, and other sundries.

Simpling 11
Shannon Rankin at home in Rangeley Maine

From Shannon’s website:

The “Simpling Series” is reminiscent of the Rorschach inkblot test, and loosely based on the art of simpling, an early form of herbalism.

This practice suggests that the shape and color of medicinal plants carry clues to their proper uses in healing. By utilizing these healing properties, ailments can be treated with the plant or plant part that most resembles the ailing body part.

For example, mental illness was treated by feeding a patient walnuts.

Her flickr link for the full series of vellums you can see at the Harlow Gallery this August

Statement

For the past 4 years I have focused exclusively on working with maps as the primary material and starting point for my work. This exhibition at the Harlow Gallery has given me the opportunity to reinvestigate using some of the other materials I have worked with over the years including vellum, thread, crocheted elements, and wax.

The work for Nature’s Keep is a small collection of exploratory collages and sculptures inspired by biological processes, patterns in nature, geometry, and human anatomy.

Simpling Series

The Simpling Series is reminiscent of the Rorschach inkblot test, and loosely based on the art of simpling, an early form of herbalism. This practice suggests that the shape and color of medicinal plants carry clues to their proper uses in healing. By utilizing these healing properties, ailments can be treated with the plant or plant part that most resembles the ailing body part.

Heirloom Series

Passed down for generations through family members and lovingly labored over by grandmothers far and wide; I collect, deconstruct and reconfigure tattered table runners, bed coverlets, and doilies into free form sculptures that resemble the forms of living organisms. These sculptures are inspired by naturally occurring shapes and patterns composed of components that have essentially been abandoned.

– Shannon Rankin

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s