Living in the Mystery

2024 Updated

7×7 in, 18×18 cm

68 Pages

Introduction by Collette Farry

A collection of installation works based largely on an art residency in Berlin.

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Living In The Mystery | Introduction

Objects and materials, which typically recede in the periphery of awareness, find new and beguiling form in the work of Shirley Wiebe. In the artist’s hands, mundane substances are teased apart and re-imagined: corrugated plastic, copper mesh, agricultural filament, lumber, window screening, and even concrete stairs undergo permutations which both utilize and deviate from the intended purpose of the materials.

Wiebeʼs compositions bear traces of small incremental actions and intuitive leaps, which push the constituent elements beyond their common usage and form. Consequently, her work is both familiar and strange. The resulting tension is reflective of Wiebeʼs acuity in balancing proportion and scale, texture and sensory relationships. However, what remains incalculable and most intriguing about Wiebeʼs work hinges upon the artist’s fidelity to the materials she employs. Rather than engineer a transformation or conceit, Wiebeʼs work pursues something inherently mysterious in the objects and materials, which comprise her installations. Wiebe considers and shapes each component of her work, without obscuring a link its origin, contributing to a singular experience of otherwise ubiquitous elements. The work asks us to consider what new relationship we have to these objects or materials once they have been pushed beyond their intended use or capacity? What do we re-cognize? What is our relationship to this new thing?

Collette Farry