Shelby Baldridge

Shelby Baldridge

Shelby Louise Baldridge is an interdisciplinary artist based in Portland, OR.  She recently completed her MFA in Visual Studies at the Pacific Northwest College of Art, where she greatly expanded her artistic practice through experimentation with a wide range of materials in sculpture. Shelby is originally from Whitefish, Montana, and grew up in close proximity to wilderness areas and an abundance of public land. This access to the outdoors encouraged a curiosity for natural sciences like botany and ecology at a young age, and later on, influenced her development as a painter while studying in the BFA program at the University of Montana. Scientific themes like biological evolution, ecological cycles and the connections between species have remained consistent interests in her work, but the emphasis has gradually shifted to include humanity and its impact on the environment. Her current work explores the relationship between humans and nonhuman beings and the relationship between consumer waste products and organic matter. These ideas are depicted through materiality in sculpture: she utilizes highly synthetic, post-consumer waste materials such as plastic and old clothing to construct organic forms that mimic living organisms.  This juxtaposition of materials and forms results in associations that complicate the man/nature binary and question commonly held hierarchical viewpoints of the external world.

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