For this month, Winnipeg River Arts Council updates the profile of previously featured artist, Shirley Kurian. Although people may know her, first and foremost, as a talented photographer, she also likes to work with acrylic paint and alcohol ink, and enjoys creating notecards, canvases, framed photography, photo books and slide shows of her art.
Born and raised in Prawda, Manitoba, Kurian has lived on the Pinawa Bay near Lac du Bonnet for the past twenty years.
Although she has no formal training, she says, “I’ve taken classes and participated in workshops. I read a lot and use the internet to advance my skills.”
She has never done any instructing -“It’s not my thing” – but she has become well-known in many places for her photographs and artwork. It has been exhibited in numerous art shows and galleries, and many retail outlets sell her note cards.
Kurian gets inspired by the beauty of many things, found everywhere and anywhere around her: nature, light (“it’s all about the light”), colour, textures, travel, and people. She has visited various exotic places to create her striking photos and even went to Newfoundland for a photography tour. When asked about inspiration and motivation, she says, “For me, art is a craving. Some days, it is stronger than on other days. But it does not go away.”
Since its inception, the Boreal Shores Art Tour has showcased her work and, by all accounts, her photographs of Manitoba landscapes, wildlife, and waterfowl have proven to be very popular with tour patrons. People also love her digitally-altered photography. Unfortunately, because of the pandemic, BSAT was cancelled this past summer but Kurian looks forward to the tour resuming in 2021. If anyone is interested in buying her work, it can be viewed and purchased at Pinawa’s art gallery, ART 211, and Gwen Fox Gallery in Selkirk.
When about tips for budding artists, she says. “Find beauty in all things. Take time daily to create something that you are passionate about. And stay curious.”