I’ve been painting birds for many years. I enjoy painting them and I’m fascinated by avian creatures but more recently I’ve been expanding my artistic vocabulary through abstraction and emotional expression. Over the last 12 months I’ve been studying the symbolism of certain bird species through different cultures, religions, literature and the spiritualism. Paying attention to how many humans refer to a bird as their spirit or totem animal and why they want to find this connection. I’m also passionate about conservation and protecting our wildlife from extinction. Many Australian birds are threatened or endangered and are facing future decline if we don’t make changes to protect them.
Shani White was one of five local artists whom recently completed Public: AIR, a four-week artist residency and public art mentoring program at Kontraband Studios. "Creating art in a room with other creatives, I was influenced and motivated by their talents. I was able to develop my concepts and ideas beyond the space I safely produce from. My work started reflecting an acceleration of new skills, broader ideas and a complex content which enabled me to verbalise those concepts with paint in a way I hadn’t explored before. I was excited to find my work move with a sense of abstraction and a deeper expression. My new works also evolved with the attraction of interpreting my concepts into large-scale painting. The opportunity to take these concepts and produce something large-scale was daunting yet completely enrapturing for me."
Public: AIR received financial assistance from the Regional Arts Development Fund. The Regional Arts Development Fund is a partnership between the Queensland Government and Toowoomba Regional Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland.