Sonia Shiel: Rectangle, a written thing
Rectangle, a written thing, 2017, is presented in four ensembles. These painted works conjure theatrical tropes without motion, containing performative moments within the stasis and composition of painting. Such poles of action and inaction, recurring throughout the installation, are echoed in an accompanying script. This written thing provides a space to situate the work in a critical context by exploring its own real and imagined materiality, – and it tells the story of an artist who, in being mistaken for a tree, learns what it is to be expressive.
Sonia Shiel’s work examines her protagonists’ attempts to survive the odds of nature and the illusory world around them, through laws of their own making. Many of her works engage with each other symbiotically or con/sequentially within mixed-media installations, creating surreal narrative sequences. Often taking the form of scripted video, audio and live performances, Shiel’s works synthesise object, image and sound in self-reflexive stories of construction, exploring how real things in the world can simultaneously declare themselves fabrications and yet compel a shared make-believe.