Shirley's frequent depiction of the character's in action un-clad would suggest a striving to depict both a vunerability but also an abandon of inhibitions, social masks and conventions, revealing the is true inner essence, in the flow and unencumbered.
Shirley Fletcher has presented her artwork in a wide range of galleries from 1977 to the present day. She has been in many solo exhibitions from Camden Arts Centre to the Galerie D'Eendt in Amsterdam. Shirley's work has also been showcased in several group exhibitions throughout England.
Shirley has a passion for jazz can be seen within many pieces of her artwork. Her paintings also expression many raw emotions such as anger, sexuality, revelry and envy.
"The title of this picture comes from a restaurant in York called The Go Down. We were having a meal
there one Christmas and there was a celebration going on, an office party maybe and the chef was
setting light to the Christmas pudding. I took the opportunity to draw and later produced this work."
"This painting is based loosely on my annual visit to the Savannah Jazz band who come to play in
Saltburn. The concert lasts about three hours and during that time I fill my sketchbook with drawings
which look totally incomprehensible to anyone including me. From this experience I have made
many paintings and this is one of my favourites. It is about not just the visual impression, but the
rhythm and the movement, the sound of jazz."
Several of her pieces are produced as collagraphs, and Shirley describes the production of such work and its effects:
"First I paint the image onto a piece of hardboard using a mixture of PVA medium and powdered pumice or carborundum grit to make the proposed dark areas and outlines of the image, then I paint over the proposed light areas with pure medium. Once this is dry I then ink it up, which entails rubbing printing ink into the block then wiping off the excess. The block is then placed on the press
and covered with a dampened sheet of paper and run through the press. "
This is the dry bones of the process but contains nothing of the excitement of printing: making aprint is like growing carrots for a gardener. You never quite know what to expect when you peel back the collagraph from the block. As with growing carrots, experience helps but at the end of the
day it’s always exciting to see what you have created. Collagraph printing is hard work, but for me infinitely worth while. It is a satisfying mode of expression."
"The ideas for my collagraphs come from life or at least my version of life. As a form of printmaking itis closest to painting, containing in its final state the texture of brushstrokes combined with a depthand richness of colour."