Divinity in Disguise Martha Shade

Playing Vixen paper pulp, rice paper, paint, wood, 25″x20″x12″

I’m a mixed media artist, and my work includes paper pulp sculptures and hand stitched embroideries. Many of my pieces contain mythological themes, and I’m particularly interested in the symbolism of hybrid creatures.

Pughou paper pulp, glass beads, rice paper, yarn, wood, 22″x8″x17″

I often say that I work for the angels because I consistently feel like my art is being shown to me from another realm before I create it.

George As King Kong paper pulp, paint, rice paper, wood, 21″x10″x18″

I’m interested in the tension between the physical and metaphysical, between the particle and the wave. A quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson describes an aspect of this idea: Every man is a divinity in disguise, a god playing the fool. Beyond these themes I find meaning in the process of creation itself.

Chiron paper pulp, fabric, thread, wood, 9″x4″x9″

Hand Stitched Embroideries

Martha Shade is a mixed-media artist whose unconventional ‘stitchworks’ and sculptures blend global mythology with personal memory and contemporary social issues. Born in Colorado, Shade studied printmaking at University of Arizona and ceramics at Louisiana State University. After a move to the Pacific Northwest, Shade began exploring increasingly elaborate ways to finish the surfaces of her sculptural work, leading her through glass mosaic toward new explorations in paper, beading and stitch work. During time spent living in Taos, New Mexico and Portland, Oregon, she exhibited in shows including most notably “Women Artists from the Land of Enchantment”, co-curated by Lucy Lippard and “Originals 2005″, a group show at the Museum of Fine Arts in Santa Fe. In the Pacific Northwest, Shade has exhibited at Bellevue Art Museum, Bumbershoot, Center on Contemporary Art, and more, as well as purchased for the City of Seattle Portable Works Collection. In ArtXchange Gallery’ 2015 “Mythos” exhibition, Shade’s work was pictured in the Seattle Times and highlighted by Michael Upchurch as “gentle, eccentric and exquisitely crafted.” Upcoming: From Confrontation to Catharsis: SDA’s 2021 International Exhibition in Print (Sept 2021). Supperfield Museum of Contemporary Art Fiber Art Show, national juried show, Museum of Museums, Seattle, WA. (Oct 2021).

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