Erin Shirreff was born in 1975 in Kelowna, BC. She is the only Canadian finalist in this year’s AIMIA short list. She received a BFA from University of Victoria, and a MFA from Yale University. Her work is found in many prestigious public art collections including The Centre Pomidou, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Solomon R Guggenheim and many others. She has had solo exhibitions in commercial and public galleries, including Artpace, San Antonio; Lisa Cooley, NY; Carleton University Art Gallery,Ontario;Galería Marta Cervera, Madrid;and many others.
Erin Shirreff is unique. Her inclusion in the short list for the AIMIA Photography Prize exemplifies a contemporaneous response to the concept of singular medium art practices because she could easily be included in a short list of sculptors, video or digital artists as well.
Not only does her work cross disciplines materially, but when she does work on a medium specific project she develops it through the lenses of other media. For example, in the film Lake, she films a singular printed image processed through several types of developing methods and animates the film through capturing the cascade of shadow and light that hit the physical print. The film examines the temporal nature of the media that is often ignored. It is concerned with the objecthood of the photograph, examining its potential through a sculptural sensibility.
In Sculpture Park (Tony Smith)/Sculpture for Snow, she builds maquettes of Tony Smith public sculptures and, instead of presenting them in real space, she films them under the action of snow, concerning herself with the atmospheric space around the monumental form.
Shirreff takes the form of media apart and reconstructs it in ways that communicate its aptitude to become more than what they seem. Her work develops gratifying meaning when she fearlessly crosses the borders of media. It becomes transformative, accessible and full of subtle beauty.
To look at more of Erin Shirreff’s work go here.
To see the other finalists and cast your vote go here.