Artist Shona Nunan has said that her inspiration comes from ancient cultures and notes the “simplicity of the language that I sometimes see there”. This simplicity of form is very much present and reflected in Shona’s work. However, what is projected to the viewer is a purity of visual language and the artists’ intimate knowledge of how line and scale can stir the most profound of emotional responses.
In creating these forms Shona is crafting an unspoken language, one that is continually evolving and finding new paths. In this language, unique to the artist, we see echoes of her deep interest in the cultural practices and learnings of others. Her sculptures are both contemplators and joyous beings of strength and resolve. They beckon us with a gaze that speaks of the past while being firmly rooted in the present.
Born in 1959, Shona lives and works between Tuscany and Provence. She is member of the Royal Sculpture Society and has exhibited extensively in Australia, Italy, France, Singapore, Hong Kong and Germany. She has artworks in the collections of Swire property group, BNP Paribus, Four Seasons hotels, Sydney University and the Al Muhaidib headquarters in Damman, Saudi Arabia.
While Nunan’s most consistent medium is bronze, she begins with plaster, quickly modelling and then laboriously carving and wearing this into her forms. The themes of her work are archetypal in essence. The Guardians, great protectors and defenders of life, are symbols of night and day, yin and yang, the partnership. The celebration of the Woman or the Mother in Shona’s work comes from a profound exploration of the feminine and using this knowledge to express the harvest, abundance, the cycles of life. The Horse and Rider another archetype, represents the Journey of Life. For Shona the relationship between the horse and rider reflect the relationship between the self, (the rider), and the horse, (inner self), at different times of life.
A Portrait of Shona Nunan
By Hugo Cavalier