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Peter Shaughnessy

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My boxes provide a symbol of our emotional and spiritual selves, vessels waiting to be filled or waiting to be opened and the contents explored, shared, or sometimes hidden (whether real or symbolic.)

Artist Bio

  • Born August 1956, Arlington County, Virginia
  • Immigrated to British Columbia in 1971
  • Simon Fraser University – 1974 to 1977
  • Journeyman Boat Builder – 1978 to 1988
  • Married to Roma, Peter has two children, Brenda and Patrick
  • Moved to the Chilcotin Region of British Columbia in 1988.
  • Currently living happily ever after.

Artist Statement

In the beginning, I enjoyed the simple act of working wood but quickly became fascinated in particular with making boxes. I made boxes that were intended to store things and were only coincidentally decorative. But over time my boxes evolved. First they grew appendages – legs and arms. Before long they grew heads and other accessories. They smiled, frowned or cried. They sprouted hair or feathers or fish. They acquired personality and became anthropomorphic… or sometimes zoomorphic. Today they are less a container, and more a means to express my ideas and feelings.

Boxes are physically integral to my work by providing a physical substrate around which I create a piece. But they also provide a symbol of our emotional and spiritual selves, vessels waiting to be filled or waiting to be opened and the contents explored, shared, or sometimes hidden (whether real or symbolic).

My objective is to interpret the human condition in an entertaining, moving and engaging way. My goal is to provoke reflection and emotion from the viewer.

Exhibitions/Shows

  • British Columbia Wood Forum, Touch Wood, 1997
  • Station House Gallery, Chilcotin Artisans, 1998
  •  Crafts Association of British Columbia, Birds Birds Birds, 2001 
  •  Crafts Association of British Columbia, Heart and Soul, 2002
  •  Crafts Association of British Columbia, Beyond Function, 2002 
  •  White Bird Gallery, Cannon Beach, Oregon, Functional Art, 2003
  •  Gallery Xylos, Calgary, Alberta, What Was He Thinking?, 2003
  •  Crafts Association of British Columbia, Connexions, 2004
  •  White Bird Gallery, Cannon Beach, Oregon, Hard To Talk About, 2004
  •  Philadelphia Museum of Art, 31st Annual Craft Show, 2007
  • Crafts Association of British Columbia, Connexions, 2008
  •  Triangle Gallery, Calgary, BC, Westward Ha!, 2008