Sonia Shiel combines key methodologies from art and theatre to imbue characteristics, autonomy and fictional narratives in the works she creates. Usurping the normal conditions of an artwork with a kind of self-conscious agency usually reserved for living things, her works are often free-standing; traversable; presented with their own volition, backstory or environment; and sometimes consolidated within installations that use audio-work, live performance or video. Transcending traditional dimensionality, her painted works reveal the shape-shifts of a sentient landscape, in which reflections abandon their hosts, horizons up-sticks from their axis, gestural marks pose wilfully and light plays tricks before disappearing.
She has had recent exhibitions at Void Gallery, Derry; Kevin Kavanagh Gallery, Dublin; the Lexicon Gallery, Dublin;The Glucksman Gallery, Cork; The Crawford Art Gallery, Cork; and the Circe Tree-line Pavilion, among others. Other exhibitions include Rua Red, Temple Bar Gallery and Studios, Dublin; The Model, Sligo; The RHA Gallery, Dublin; ISCP, New York; Ormston House, Limerick; Kultur Bunker, Frankfurt; The Cable Factory, Helsinki and the Butler Gallery, Kilkenny. She has completed a number of residencies including UCD, IMMA, NCAD, and TBG+S, Dublin; The Art and Law Program and ISCP; New York; CCI, Paris; City of Frankfurt; and HIAP, Helsinki. She has received the Tony O'Malley Award from the Butler Gallery and the Hennessy Craig Award from the RHA, as well as international project and bursary funding awards from the Arts Council, DCC and Culture Ireland.