The Power of Beauty


What strikes one immediately upon looking at Shirona's art is its stunning beauty. This is a rare thing. We are bombarded with images that are intended to be ironic, cynical, or that even celebrate ugliness, and so we have lost much of the power of beauty. But for thousands of years, the primary purpose of art was to elevate the human heart and spirit by showing us images of transcendent beauty. Through the contemplation of these images we glimpse a reality that is higher and truer than the mundane existence to which we can all too easily succumb. Beauty deeply moves us because it is ego-less; it is a servant that seeks only to discover and transmit. In this way, the experience of beauty is a spiritual encounter. This is exactly what one feels when looking at Shirona's art.

All of Shirona's work is collage, constructed from cut or torn paper, and she has developed two very different, yet complementary series. Her "Color Mediations" series are composed of carefully arranged squares of subtle and saturated colors. The rigor of the format focuses attention on the subtle relationship where edge meets edge, and reveals the beautiful sensuality of color itself. These glow with an inner light that seems to shine through the paper, sometimes pulsating, sometimes gently shimmering, and then dissolving back into the deep. Like Buddhist mandalas, these are images of contemplation and revelation.

Her "Origins" series, though also collages, break free from any formal constraints. They are made from dense layers of torn or cut paper, and at times use recognizable images: bodies, faces, flowers, rocks, and water. These works seem both mythic and monumental, as through we are witnessing primordial acts from hidden realms. The imagery in these is not literal or cerebral, but is intuitive and sensual. In one we sense a feminine sexuality bursting forth in an orgasmic flow of creation. In another we come through an opening, as though from one state of consciousness to the next. And in another we see what may be the formation of essential energies that seem to come from the beginning of time.

In both series, Shirona's art is informed by a sense of reverence and seriousness in her craft. And all, unfailingly, come through Shirona's ever-present eye for beauty.