2020 Grad Show

Shailynn Lake

AUArts Grad Show GSPROF



The content of my practice pulls from my interests in the subconscious mind and how it influences our thoughts, desires and interactions with everyday reality. I paint scenes that play with mundane, everyday situations accompanied by unsettling details and the additions of meat or guts to present my viewers with my interpretation of the subconscious mind, and how it might influence reality. I have always been drawn to the fragmented body and how it is revealing of what’s inside our skin, the meat, flesh, fat, bones and organs. The textures of everything mingling together into a cohesive machine and mangling together into piles of plump gushing flesh with sharp fragments of bone and teeth. I want to represent these fantastic colours and materials with paint, I feel a need too. I fulfill this desire through my paintings, larger than life renderings of uncanny, unsettling scenes of mundane spaces like bathrooms and kitchens that house small, sinister details of flesh and blood that aim to intrigue and unsettle my viewers at the same time. I want to present my viewers with a visual representation of how my mind obsesses over flesh and meat, intrusive moments that are born from unsettling thoughts I think we all have in one way or another.


Glassy, porcelain counter tops, slick as thick mucous, wet, cold, sterile. Hands grip and cradle a cloth of guts like they don’t belong to anyone. A mirror reflects back the wrong image of an outlet face-plate and where a screw was tightened a turn to much. A deep crack that follows through the wall behind. A toothbrush hiding blood from an unknown source, a bleeding mouth, or a mouth that made someone else bleed. The toothbrush teeters so close to the flesh in the wet cloth, these things should never touch, but I can’t help but think how the guts would feel sliding past my teeth, shaking hands with my tongue and squishing under the force of my jaw.

Still Life (Art Supplies)

I have always seen meat as a material rather than a source of food. I am interested in its colors, textures, layers, sounds and what it can represent. Still life painting has a rich and extensive history and often included meat and animals as subjects. I wanted to group mine with supplies I use in my work to express my desire to study and create using meat and flesh. I am just some meat looking at and painting some other meat.

Cutting Board

This painting explores intrusive thoughts and their ability to entice our desires and curiosities with their often insidious and risky nature. Its larger than life presence forces the viewer to become a witness to this act and the flatness of the paint plays with perspective to give it a cinematic or dream-like quality. Intrusive thoughts exist in a between space where they are thought about but often not acted upon, this painting holds the same space that allows for the viewer to decide if they would pull the knife away or push it down further.


Bathtub is a work that reflects on my interest and indulgence into intrusive thoughts and the places they often occur in. Bathrooms are secluded, intimate spaces that force us to focus on our bodies in a way that can be invasive and destructive. The use of angles and flat, matte paint cause this painting to resemble a scene from a film. The legs are larger than life and dominating over the viewer while the guts are eye-level implying that an action has already been acted upon.

Shower Curtain

Shower Curtain is a work that explores an intimate space that is both dirty and clean at the same time. These spaces mimic the body through textures and colors; rust on a faucet, discolored grout between slick tiles, calloused and dirt cakes heels, soggy towels shoved into a corner, cold and stagnate bath water. Through my application of paint and building mediums, I want to find visual connections between the objects that clean and care for our bodies and the body itself.