Shelley McDermott's images were predominantly recorded using a polaroid camera and mobile phone, and depict her animals, landscape, home, and immediate surroundings. In particular, the image of horse and dog can be seen repeatedly. These animals are totem animals for the artist, with the dog signifying loyalty, protection and guidance; and the horse symbolising freedom, power and grace. These animals are also avatars for the artist, another method of representing self within the images.
By recording these everyday moments McDermott seeks to find moments of respite, beauty and solitude, whilst learning to embrace the ‘Shadow.’ In Jungian psychology, the Shadow may refer to an unconscious feature of the personality which the conscious does not wish to acknowledge. As we tend to reject the least desirable aspects of ourselves, the shadow is often seen as negative. However, there are positives that make be hiding within the shadow. Embracing the shadow can be key to finding balance in life, because where there is light there must also be darkness.
The images in the exhibition depict a personal journey of introspection, discovering the hidden beauty that can be found in the everyday, and unveiling the hidden comfort of melancholy and finding balance and meaning.
Cover image: I live in a cemetery, Inkjet Print 2015 Shelley McDermott