Shelby Fleming (She/Her) holds a BFA in Studio Art from Southern Illinois University of Edwardsville and a MFA from the University of Arkansas School of Art. Her current studio resides at North West Arkansas Creative Spaces at Mount Sequoyah. Fleming’s artwork has been exhibited nationally and internationally at venues such as the CICA Museum, South Korea, the International Sculpture Conference, and Art Saint Louis. Fleming’s studio practice is cross disciplinary with a focus on sculpture, instillation, and performance art. Her most recent work focuses on how bodies occupy space physically and psychologically.
Body is the center of my artistic practice. Whether it is abstract or representational my work revolves around the body’s fragility and resilience as it faces internal, external, or psychological factors. Many of the patterns and structures in my work draw from a micro view of our bodies. My installations approach from a macro perspective that incorporates the viewer’s experience into the instillation. Scale and sculptural placement directly confront the viewers body in relation to space.
The grotesque beauty present in the artworks are influenced by the concept of the abject body. Abject body being the body that violates its own boundaries in the form of excretion. We want our bodies to be neat and orderly because, if this is the case, we perceive that we are in control of our bodies’ functionality and how it exists. It is a socially suppressed topic, but it is a shared experience that connects all life.