Shelby Silver


Soul Workings: The Birth

To put it simply, this is a culmination of a few different series. However; not so simply put, just like birth, it came into this world with great love, and great pain. One I call Accumulate Reclamation: work that I had created with oceanic scenes such as coral reef, and after having painted my backdrop I would shape the structure by sewing plastic marine debris to the canvas. Long before I’d begun Accumulate Reclamation however there was an incredibly poignant body of work that I call Soul, which had manifested out of the desperate need for healing my mind, my spirit, and well. . . my soul. After hosting the biggest show I’d ever curated at my home here in Banks, OR. I was awakened to not only my own need for healing but a deep need in those who had come to attend my show as well. I had spent years creating my environmental pieces and truly felt that these were my babies. I had cut the room down the middle almost as though a cesarean was being performed and the child about to be born was more beautiful than I could ever have imagined. I had all of my Accumulate Reclamation, Marine Rope Basket Sculptures, Free the Sea Mandalas, and a very new and hard earned illustrated series of an Educational Marine Alphabet on one side, and on the other wall all of the pieces I’d created through my own self driven form of art therapy. I called it my Soul Wall. Here I had spent months putting these final touches on my environmental art and really believed this would be my main attraction. Yet to my surprise, although people were interested, their fascination lay on my Soul Wall. The very wall of paintings I had hoped people would avoid as I felt too many feelings around them to be anything but raw. And they flocked to it, attaching themselves to the pieces of me I never let anyone see. In this moment, I was given a much more substantial gift than everyone’s presence and the work that was purchased at my show that cool February night. I was given the gift of learning that I need to put the two together. I thought to myself in days to come, as I revel in the space between each wall, how did I never come to this conclusion before? And as I stood there looking back and forth, and back and forth, it came to me. Because I was never as willing to be raw and open as I am right now. My love of the ocean and my journey of cathartic self-growth suddenly merged and became one bearing the fruits of my labor. The beauty of the combination is that the imagery coming through is relatable on a global level. I realized that where I’d been creating my ocean themed works, many in our world have not had the ability to experience the ocean. By tying the plastic marine debris into my Soul Workings I am offering this educational component to everyone. Not just those of us who know the ocean well, all of us. It is a more inclusive, heart centered and loving series. There is no telling what kind of gifts we can be given when we remain open to the possibilities of transformation of self. And even better the gifts we can then give. My gift to you is a body of work that puts the power of being an agent of change back in your hands. And to let you know that truly, every little bit counts. We can help heal this planet on our own a little at a time, but we stand a better chance together, for remembering our responsibility to earth, sea, and all living beings is our greatest inheritance and our most tremendous undertaking. With Love, and illumined gratitude for this journey we share, Shelby Silver