Shauna Liora shares a vibrant portfolio of fire-made art that expresses her love of wilderness and adventure. To learn more about this artist, visit her website.
It all began with fire. In 2015 on a trip north of the Arctic Circle, in Inuvik, I met a First Nations artist who introduced me to the mysteries of working with fire and ink. This sparked an unquenchable curiosity in me to experiment with this medium. Over several years I painstakingly developed methods that uniquely gives the fire freedom to express itself.
The results are vibrant backgrounds that tell tales of starry skies filled with dancing northern lights, uniquely created by one of the five elements of nature.
There is a wildness that I have to accept when working with fire. I work with each piece repeatedly, using different techniques to allow the alchemy of the flame to transform ink on ceramic tile until it moves me.
I then have the privilege of bringing it to life by painting or drawing all sorts of wilderness scenes—a sacred, two-part process. I immerse myself in a dance of vulnerability as the fire invites me into its story and helps me tell mine as an artist and adventurer.
I’ll never forget the day my dad took me up my first mountain. I was a flatlander kid who grew up in the wilds of Northern Ontario pulling fish out of frozen lakes. While on our way to visit family on the west coast, my brothers and I climbed the same peak my dad climbed when he was young.
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Lost in the wonder of the wildflowers and mountaintop views, it is a day I will never forget—one that sparked a twenty-year career of guiding in the Rocky Mountains.
When paddling a river or climbing a peak, there’s a hunger that compels me to see what’s around the next corner. Following this curiosity always takes me to beautiful places, in both art and adventure.
The fascinating thing about both adventure and art is that neither are necessary in any tangible way, and yet they both satisfy a need. It’s something we experience. Something that we feel. It calls to us and fills us.
It’s from this ephemeral place that I create. When I embrace the unknown, it surprises me. Like being on an adventure, each piece I create presents a fresh landscape full of possibilities. Since the fire is so free, it expresses what I can’t possibly put into words. It allows me to reveal the deeper parts of who I am with a natural vibrancy and intimacy.
Like paddling down a river, starting a new piece fills me with excitement and uncertainty. I don’t know what’s coming. As I work with the fire, I often lose myself in the stories it tells me. It’s an invitation to express my connection with the places I cherish and the free spirit of the wild.
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