ORIGINAL WORK: H.M. Shaw, “Vessel Presents: Seashell Stout”

Artist Bio

I never say that I’m an artist. If anything, I make messes and I live in my head. 

I will stand firm on one thing—allowing space for creativity saved me. 

Anorexia took my voice for the better part of my twenties and into my early thirties. The only thing that I ever created was a bottom to hit so I can have some kind of a life. 

House Mouse (An Artist’s Self-Portrait)

After returning home to Buffalo in October 2016, I promised myself that no matter how I felt in my body, that I’d push for a better heart even if I had to patch up the tears with paper. When I’d hit my low points, I’d envision my ideal heroines and how they’d overcome adversity. I still make the mistake of loosely using the term “alter egos,” but in actuality a DJ and a sex worker are the real creators of the alternate universe behind my dingy looking glass. 

This narrative is based around a fictional music venue called Vessel. Vessel is workplace and sanctuary for both of my heroines. This fictional underground music venue (in all its Gen-X gaudy glory) would still rely on word-of-mouth promotion paired with analog collages for flyers. From inside Vessel’s reverb vibrations, each heroine uses ephemera to hold up a mirror and gently guide me on how to be a better human being. They seldom address their beloved “house mouse.” Instead, they lead by example and save themselves. 

Jewel Thief

The Vessel series has gone through different stages from poetry to fiction to performance to mail art. I change with this series just as I’ll forever be a messy daydreamer. It’s human to evolve as we continuously fall. We grow even when our bad habits keep us stunted. How do I know? I’ve been listening to the same songs over and over again for the past three years. These songs have been there to guide me through my victories and losses throughout the recovery process. 

Sometimes these songs inspire something new. Other times, they inspire me to refine what I’m reluctant to share with the world. This body of work is a celebration of a sixty-six song soundtrack that fueled healing and jagged incisions.

Hey, Snow White

Wanna know more? Take a listen.

Media: All pieces are mixed media. 
Collection: “Vessel Presents: Seashell Stout”

Follow the artist on IG — @ruinandcompany; FB — Halley Marie Shaw