Artists’ Books Between the Sheets Exhibition Gallery East

Currently one of my artists’ books is being exhibited in the Between the Sheets exhibition which is on display until the 8th of April before it travels to Australian Galleries in Melbourne.


The piece is titled “Ourself Behind Ourself Concealed”.

Derived from the paper dolls I used to make as a child by cutting a figure into concertina folded paper this work reminds me of the free flowing creativity of children at play. It is the capacity to tap into this state of flow that I am interested in.

The title is taken from a line in a Poem by Emily Dickinson, “One Need Not be a Chamber to be Haunted”. While I found the line “Ourself behind ourself concealed” to be perfect as the title for this piece, in many ways this work is the antithesis of what the rest of the poem is about. While Dickinson traverses the dark corridors of the mind; my artwork offers an alternate self, a growing humanity, not trapped in the eternal thoughts of the mind but an embodied metaphorical growth, represented by the tree.

I chose for this work the female form, but this is not just for a female audience, it is a representation of all humanity, transcending gender and culture. It is a work that speaks to our internal being. The transparent openness of the internal tree, vividly coloured, reminds us of our potential for brilliance.

The Self Behind the Self Concealed by Shana James

Mixed Media: Paper, Ink, Acetate, Oil paint, Glue

You can see more of my artists’ books here