Once affectionately referred to as a Renaissance Woman as she was tilling the garden of a prominent photographer in her silver Doc Marten’s, Maeshelle West-Davies gleans her varied life experiences to expose a personal perspective through a multitude of mediums. Raised in the States and having lived in the UK for 7 years, she currently lives and works in Germany. Her work is a response not only to a physical journey, but an emotional one, as with all of us who walk along or beside our individual paths.
Like a bird she collects things that catch her eye. Glass, plastic, wire, metal and lost objects find their way into her pockets when she walks. These objects later join with wax, text, fabric and other materials to express something lived or observed. Often they end up in jars or boxes. “I love evoking interaction. With my boxes I am happy when people are curious enough to actually touch and open them. I do things to the outside, but what’s inside the box is just as much a part of it and so is moving people to do something they aren’t sure they are allowed to.”
Equally relevant are her videos, snaps, installations and performance works. The common thread is that things come together in relation to a well thought-out concept. These concepts are thought through to the point of chaos and then paired down to bare essence. This leaves a skeleton for the viewer to flesh out. Depending on the life experience of the onlooker, they may or may not end up with the original concept. Maeshelle is not concerned with that. She wants her work to move them; to give them something to take away. She understands that growing up, leaving home and finding your own way is the natural process for that which one has given birth to.
I order chaos. Research is key. Once I feel I have gathered information through reading, interacting and lived experiences, I start to make sense of it. I chop and change, remove and add until I have something I feel is right. This editing process is equally as important as the preparatory phase. My work seems simple to the viewer because I have left no obstacles to the experience…..unless I have done it on purpose to disrupt the experience.