Biography

Shelley Wilson studied art at the Sir John Cass School and Camberwell College. She graduated with BA (Hons) in three-dimensional design and continued as a postgraduate student of anatomy at University College London and sculpture at the Sir John Cass School of Art.

Her formal training in sculpture and ceramics and early interests in photographic techniques have allowed her to experiment with combinations of different methods to capture the variable and complex three-dimensional shapes of living things. Experimentation and the unpredictable insights that arise from interactions between artistic materials and subject matter have led to several collaborative studies of human anatomy in health and disease.

Since 1995 Shelley Wilson has worked in the interstices between art and medicine, tackling head on some of the most troubling concerns of our age. She has collaborated with a wide variety of scientists and clinicians since she won the Wellcome Trust “Sci Art 97” in partnership with Professor Arthur Crisp for their work on “Female Puberty and a Search for an Identity”. Their research concentrated on the complexities resulting from the physical and psychological dilemmas of sufferers from Anorexia Nervosa. Another project resulted from her collaboration with Professor David Hopkinson, where his research into the genes, which are responsible for facial features, led to her exhibitions “Invisible Body”, “Family Faces” and “Beneath the Mask”. “Joint Account”, a site specific installation at the Old Operating Theatre, St Thomas’s Hospital, done in collaboration with Dr Armand Leroi, dealt with conjoined twins as a metaphor for life experience.

In a departure from her Sci-Art collaborations Wilson created ‘Body Politic’ which investigated the socio-political climate surrounding the general election in 2010 as subject material in a celebration of the experiences of the 150 MP’s who stepped down at that time.

2011 year Wilson has returned to her exploration of the medical condition Dementia and the effects of these conditions on the corporeal, psychological and spiritual components of an individual. ‘Self Contained’, funded by the Arts Council, is the result of research conducted for two years among the residents of a nursing home specialising in Dementia and of sharing experience with some of their families.

Never shying away from the most challenging fears of our society, Wilson’s work has been shown at wide and diverse venues in the UK and Overseas.