Though she has been making shell mirrors since the mid 70’s, Nadina’s debut exhibition was hosted by Art Gallery Collections on the Gold Coast in 2007.
Nadina has perfected her technique over these years with one outcome in mind - to have each shell appear to have been washed up on the shore by the sea and encrusted with pebbles, crushed coral and tiny glass beads.
Jewels of the sea meet with jewels of the land
Nadina works with local and imported shells that are all Government approved and none of which are on the “Cities” (endangered species) list.
Nadina believes that when working with shells on mirrors one can contemplate both the beauty of the outside world and the beauty of your inner self.
Catching a glimpse of your own reflection whilst gazing at the shells surrounding the mirror, you may experience a beautiful moment of wonder and awe.
ARTIST STATEMENT: THE SHELL GODDESS
For some years I have been commissioned by clients for commercial purposes.
Over time however, the need to honour my own creative process has become a priority.
In 2004 I decided to stop working at a commercial level.
I was then free to manifest creative images that haunted my soul and imagination.
No longer controlled by the economics of my medium or the restricted dimensions of a commissioned piece, the Shell Goddess ached to be born.
She is my first sculpture and my biggest challenge to date.
For a long time, I was aware of her majestic presence and her radiant personality as she emerged from somewhere deep inside.
As she rose from the subconscious to the conscious mind. I could see her in my mind’s eye, but how could I give her form?
To bring the Shell Goddess into being in a way that respects her magnificence was my creative quest.
I knew that if she was to be of a substantial size her core must be light in weight yet strong in frame to support her outer form.
I envisioned her standing tall in all her glory completely encrusted with shells, beads and treasures from the sea…… all weighty components.
I started by building a shape close to the proportion that I wanted – head, shoulders, shawl, waist and hips – all proportional to the grotto from where she arose.
Her face and neck were refined to a smooth surface and her head slightly raised to look toward the heavens giving the observer the impression that she had surfaced from the depths of the ocean with her eyes focused on an ever-present divine light source.
The Shell Goddess taught me endless patience.
Each shell was placed individually with precision, defying gravity when placed on a vertical surface.
Each bead and each piece of coral was positioned with tweezers one-by-one so that she became completely encrusted.
In the creative process, I entered a time warp, a trance and a meditation of serene beauty.
In the six months it took me to complete her I was transported to a place of inspiration that she enabled me to convert the idea of beauty into reality.
I have heartfelt gratitude for the Shell Goddess; she has taught me how to fine-tune my creative visualization abilities.
She stands before us, encrusted in jewels from the sea for future generations to admire.
When you contemplate beauty it touches you mind, heart and soul.
Clients supply dimensions, colour preferences of shells and a description of where the work will be featured.
The client's imagination is the only limitation in designing a sculpture, mirror or vase.
Collaboration with the client throughout the entire process is all important.
For more information and images please go to www.nadinaross.com