Selena Schaefer

Artist Statement

I am a multidisciplinary artist currently based in Hamilton. I most often work with portraiture, representing the people around me in paintings and sculptures. My most recent work is an exploration of fashion history, drawing my concepts from both observed fashion and historical research. With my fashion based work, I will explore the underlying symbolism of fashion and the industry’s effect on the world. Specifically how western colonialism has continued to play out through a violently capitalistic fashion industry, and the effects that this has on the environment. I hope to uncover how fashion interacts with the environment and influences socio-political landscapes.

My work has a strong focus on feminine and abstract imagery, usually mixing the baroque and surrealistic. In my portrait work, I stage settings that look strange and unrealistic with the incorporation of historic, contemporary and surreal elements. Bright colours or graphic, modern shapes are often contrasted with more conventional themes, colours and styles in my work. Film is very influential to my work, especially various uses of cinematography, sets and costumes. Researching the connection between renaissance fashion and current issues caused by the western eurocentric fashion industry has been the driving force behind my thesis work.

Artist Biography

Selena Schaefer most often works with portraiture, representing the people around her in paintings and sculptures. Her most recent work is an exploration of fashion history, drawing her concepts from both observed fashion and historical research. With her fashion based work, she will explore the underlying symbolism of fashion and the industry’s effect on the world. She hopes to uncover how fashion interacts with the environment and influences socio-political landscapes.