About Corran Shrimpton
Corran Shrimpton is an American sculptor whose mixed media figurative sculptures examine the experience of being a woman in our culture today. By subverting the dominant narrative around what is normal or acceptable for a woman to look like, she explores beauty as a powerful cultural construction and social currency.
Shrimpton is from Syracuse, NY and received her BFA with a minor in Philosophy from Alfred University. She has worked as a teacher and Artist in Residence at the Armory Art Center in West Palm Beach, FL and the Lillstreet Art Center in Chicago, IL. She is the recipient of the Lisa Elwell Ceramic Artist Endowed Encouragement Award and is currently an MFA candidate and Welch Fellow at Georgia State University, Ernest G. Welch School of Art and Design.
I create mixed media sculptures that explore the complicated and fraught relationship that I and many women/femmes have with their body. The figures that I present exude both confidence and insecurity: they assert their humanity and their right to take up space all while presenting, decorating, and monitoring their appearance. Between the constant fat jokes on TV, the disproportionate number of thin women portrayed in the media and the diet ads everywhere you look, our image-saturated world is loaded with toxic subtext about what is acceptable for a woman to look like. The “you are beautiful” and the “love yourself” Dove-ad style tactics of “body positivity” fall short in addressing the complex nuance behind body shame as a systemic power structure rather than an individual failure.
I embrace an honest and vulnerable depiction of the body by confronting my own “problem areas”. Bellies bulge, stretch marks crawl across the skin and folds and rolls squeeze and squish as they attempt to fit into constricting clothing. My sculptures are often of nude women in varying levels of abstraction. I feel unlimited in the potential forms that I can create with clay. It can mimic the softness of our bodies or it can be the frame that holds it in. At times I let the clay show its natural tendencies, leaving the impressions of my hands gripping and shaping while other times I create smooth surfaces to accentuate the curves and fullness of the form. I zoom in on one part of the body, or present various fragments, which speaks to the tendency to pick apart one’s appearance and the hyperawareness many are made to feel towards their physicality as separate from themselves. The ceramic sculptures become canvases for surface imagery and opportunities for interactions with different materials. Forms and patterns reminiscent of Victorian decor disrupt and coat the forms, distorting and suppressing their identity.