Primordial Storehouse – Christiane Shortal
In Primordial Storehouse Christiane Shortal creates a world with whimsical mysterious characters, creatures and monsters. Like uncovered lost documents or ancient artefacts in the back room of a museum with symbols and meaning that have been lost to time, they sit between the unknown and the comprehendible, safety and terror, for the viewer to decipher.
Shortal intuitively builds out her pieces as they develop, responding to what the work needs. That instinctive and eccentric mindset plays out in polymer clay heads with their idiosyncrasies and forms made within the short time frame the medium allows. In her paintings central figures are enveloped into their environments, becoming part of their peculiar ecosystems.
The combination of playfulness and an archetypal looming presence within each piece characterises this show. Bright colours, soft forms and fantasy-like figures belie unknown intentions. As such, she describes the polymer clay works in the exhibition as talismans, real world manifestations of her painted and embroidered world, which bring a mystic energy to their space. Shortal seeks to inspire the same awe and joy of discovery that we experience in an encounter with something that exists just beyond our understanding.