Artist Statement: Meet Shirley Kaci

From my early psychic automatic drawings and years of experimentation, I've finally found my voice. I'm an intuitive expressive artist who enjoys the process of creating and the surprise I feel by not always knowing how each piece of art will turn out. When inspiration comes knocking, which is most days, it’s like a "running tap that I can’t turn off”. For me it’s like an addiction, it feeds me it’s my fix! I work with the resources and inspiration held within my psychic and subconscious mind as well as my interactions with nature. I have an intuitive command of shape form and colour.

I'm a self taught artist and have been on a very long journey of self discovery, 37 years to be precise. My sketches form part of my ongoing recovery of mental illness. My art therapy paintings and sketches act as a reflective diary whilst also enabling me to try to understand what lays beneath my recurrent diagnosis of Anxiety and Depression. On the one hand and at a quick glance, my paintings/pictures appear to be quite varied, however, upon closer scrutiny, repetitive imagery may be seen. I do have an eclectic mix of works that have served different purposes in my life. My bright, bold vibrant expressive florals are all what I would call my intentional paintings. My most recent sketches are happy, fun, quirky pieces with titles relevant to the inspiration behind each piece. They are my little visual stories of conversations between myself and others. The different collections of my work align very much with what was going on during the time, when the shifts in my personal life were happening where inspiration just flowed.

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To give some form of explanation as to how some of my pictures unfold is this...The relationship between myself and the paper in which the image/images emerge are executed on a very subconscious level (Therapy painting and early sketches). I could not produce such powerful and in some instances disturbing imagery from my conscious mind, instead they are automatic response to feelings. However, in contrast to this I make a conscious choice of the medium I use which are mainly soft pastels, permanent markers, acrylic paints and graphic pens. I choose these mediums as they enable me to either work spontaneously, yielding very quick results which enables me to share and communicate with my therapist, or to apply very detailed shapes and form to my work. During the past when I was attending therapy, I was able to produce two and sometimes three paintings during a one hour art therapy session. I have even managed to produce as many as three large (A1) pictures in as shorter time of 15 to 20 minutes.

Working from my "Subconscious Mind" without active control over the outcome of the content of my therapy expressions, awarded me the space to explore and navigate my way through my underlying issues and to consider different and more positive ways of dealing with my day to day living which I can only describe during that period as torturous at times.

Over time and with the guidance of my Therapist, I have learnt to analyse my sketches. I'm now aware of the need to tap into what is going on in my unconscious, subconscious and conscious mind, even though my enquiries may result in receiving painful and confusing information. It's important for me to have a clear understanding of how external incidences impact on me and to be aware of my triggers and my emotional responses to those triggers in order for me to find ways of managing and minimising the impact that those triggers have upon me.

The effects of events or incidences outside of myself, impacts on my daily life and triggers those deep feelings of negativity which interrupts my true nature, known by those who know the real shirley, that of being a calm loving caring and creative individual.

Art therapy paintings. Created by using mainly soft Pastels on approximately A/1 size paper. Suppressed deep rooted feelings and thoughts of anger, fear, sadness, entrapment, self-loathing, exhaustion, abandonment and failure emerge when I use my fingers to smudge colour and forms together. I then take a step back and glance at the erratic, chaotic forms that have transpired in my work. I see faces and forms emerging from the strokes I’ve made, some almost ghost like. I tend to subconsciously fill the paper from edge to edge, I have this need to utilise as much of the space as possible. It is only through the process of Art Therapy that I had felt able to allow negative feelings to be processed without judgment or repercussions, to then be brought to the surface to facilitate my need for some form of normality in my life, in order to preserve the small part of what was left of the self.

My shadow First art therapy painting Vulnerability Trapped The secretShe s pretending to sleep Making me sick She knew all along She s still that child The odd one out Going around in circles Enough is enough A bunch of nutters A goast from the past A bit of improvement

Art Therapy 2014-2015

Sketches. Give me the space and freedom to express what is going on in my day to day life. They are inspirations, stories of happenings, events, and challenges of everyday occurrences. Whether they be emotional, psychological or physical feelings. They are like puzzles with bits of the puzzle missing until the next one is created where the answer to my subconscious questions may become apparent. My early doodles were created using pencil with a bit of spit for smudging, felt tip and biro. However, since 1993 I've used graphic pens, permanent markers mixed with water soluble markers, enabling me to smudge and merge texture into my work. My sketches are very detailed with faces, shapes, lines and form. Black features strongly in both my sketches and art therapy work. I see black as being a statement of my inner strength, the outline to my inner being, the visual shaping of my expressions. I'm now able to see the positive changes in my sketches. They are fun, playful expressions of faces, forms and felines and are like patterns of happy expressions. They take much longer to complete as I have mastered the crossover between automatic and intentional.

Colourful Expressions. My pastel and floral expressions are celebrations of inspirational moments. I was inspired to create florals after the birth of my daughter Poppy in 1994. My early expressive pastels were inspired during the period I attended college 1991-1993 when I studied social science. I was interested in Sigmund Freud and psychoanalysis and Carl Yung's Theory of Dreams. Most of my florals are painted in acrylic and pearlescent inks by building layers of vibrant colours and texture using an array of tools including brushes, sponges and a hairdryer. I paint from my imagination all the beautiful objects I've been exposed to from different interiors, external objects and my interaction with nature. I love how colour plays with my mood and my mood plays with colour. My Poppy paintings have been really popular over the years, I sold many of my Poppy paintings to one client with the exception of Flanders, which is a very large painting inspired by the birth of my daughter which has been exhibited as a NFS painting. I could have sold it many times over.

Conceptual Expressions. Portray idiosyncratic sculptures of trades people in the construction industry. Moreover, is the importance of the story behind these little six-inch-tall expressions of my experience of training as a bricklayer and interior decorator, working on site and my father’s death whilst working in the construction industry on a building site when I was age three, all major influences to my conceptual expressions. The collection of conceptual paintings I've created over the years came about by events which triggered unconscious thoughts and feelings bringing them to the forefront of my mind and the need to express myself in a way as to not have to spell it out in words what each piece was all about but instead, leave the meaning to be interpreted by those who were exposed to my conceptual art. Enabling them to make their own mind up as to what I'm communicating/expressing through my work. If I were to try and explain how the imagery, shapes or form were relevant to the original concept, one may have difficulty linking the original concept to my visual interpretation of it.

Penis envy oneSlave girl poem unframed The little devel ammended for print

Limited Edition Sculptures

Brian boxed Multiple dian s incomplete Multiple dians incomplete 2

1. Brian the "Surveyor" cast and ready for sanding and filling 2&3. Diane "The Client" cast and ready for sanding and filling.

Kacidesigns shirl Mural of sculptures Diane negative with clock 2

1. "Shirl" Decorator Life long learning 2. Mural of sculptures 3. Diane the Client used for digital image

Maurice white copy Architect client shirl and maurice Bronse pieces

Maurice the Site Manager in progress

Mural of sculptures

Mural of sculptures

Why Do I Do What I Do

I could give some flowery explanations as to why I do what I do in order to enhance my future prospects and increase my potential for lots of sales. However, this is not me! I'm a very transparent women and have never been a lover of sales pitches, and even though this could be to my detriment, the flip side is, there are thousands of potential clients who want authenticity when they choose to invest and won't be swayed by fluffy sales pitches. They are my people and my ideal clients. It's more important for me as a person, to be honest about myself as a practicing professional artist. The world is big enough for all of us artist's to find our ideal clients. Not everyone will like me or my art however, there are many who do and who will.

My art therapy pictures are a necessity and assist me in my ongoing recovery and aid my stability of mental illness. These works do not define my ability as a creative. I want to be heard and choose to use the power of creativity to express myself in a positive way. Creating on a daily basis is the answer to all my questions, my needs and the key to my wellbeing. I love the freedom I feel when doing it, I’m not answerable to anyone. I don’t mind if people like or dislike my expressions, either way I know they are thought provoking which is better than no response at all. I am often stifled and unable to speak at times so the pen and paper have become my “best friend”, the go to object when my stomach is so knotted that I feel nauseous.

Creative processes enable me to think more clearly to focus on being the best I can be. By creating, it enables me to evoke feelings in others and to share conversations about my passion. I don't take anything for granted in life and feel blessed when a client is touched by my paintings, so much so that they want to purchase one of their own. I do what I do because I have come to terms with the fact that everything about me and my journey in this life so far has been about creativity in some way. Whether thats through creative thinking or creativity as an art form. I have dreams like we all do, and have hope and belief that one day my dreams will come to fruition. Having revamped this website from its first inception during 2002 gives me the platform I need to bring more awareness to potential clients of my offerings and the potential to establish a larger following.

I'm always thinking about my adult children, whatever outcomes I achieve in the years I have left on this wonderful planet, the greatest achievement and outcome I could wish for will be the legacy I can leave to my children and many happy customers.