New Zealand artist Tess Sheerin has recently been noted for her unusual depictions of native wildlife, fuelled by a need to raise awareness about the increasing problem with pollution and its knock on effects. Her latest endeavour is to create public murals to reach out to communities about the issue of waste water and coastal pollution. The murals are hand painted in distinctive black and white style contrasting with expressive bursts of colours, similar to her previous portrayal of large scale urban wildlife inhabiting city walls in post-quake hometown Christchurch.
Sheerin has been heavily influenced by street art and graffiti from her time living in the United Kingdom but is traditionally trained; her work also stems from a fusion of favourite artist MC Escher, Japanese printmaking, design and the surrealist movement. Working conceptually on each project, she brings a dynamic energy which evolves during the restricted time-frame for her murals. Her creative process incorporates techniques that explore movement by physically paint-bombing buildings, using fire extinguishers, and pouring paint down textured surfaces.
Currently murals are a large part of Sheerin’s work but not her only interest; she is inspired by her travels and is often found foraging for recycled objects on her voyages. Broken surfboards, doors and various pieces of rubble are used to morph into sculptures, paintings and installations.