Alumni Highlight / Shannon Estlund
Be sure to catch recent MCAD MFA graduate, Shannon Estlund’s joint show, Terra Incognita, at the Soo Visual Arts Center before it closes this Saturday.
Terra Incognita, the Latin translation of unknown lands, pairs the paintings of Shannon Estlund and the drawings of Aaron Squadroni. Both artists explore how landscapes are transmutable narrative histories, revealing human impact through an ever altering terrain. Terra Incognita also references how the phrase is used metaphorically to describe any unexplored subject or field of research, in this case how traces and disruptions in landforms develop into chronicles of human existence.
Shannon Estlund’s paintings consist of a multitude of layers, alternating between thick and thin applications, creating the illusion of spatial depth in order to present the viewer with a distant potential destination. Her landscapes are accumulations of overlapping and contradictory information focusing on natural spaces that do not represent the ideal, destinations that are hidden or difficult to access. These locations tend to be overlooked areas near dirt roads and houses but outside of everyday human use. Estlund describes her subject matter as “spaces that are both real and imaginary, that are complex and difficult to move through, and function both as instances of actual sensory experience and metaphors for decisive moments in everyday life.”
Estlund teaches at Minneapolis College of Art and Design and Augsburg. Her work will be featured in an upcoming New American Paintings issue and has received numerous grants in support of her work. Estlund has exhibited extensively in Jacksonville, Boston and Minneapolis.
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