"My group of work reflects how I achieve harmony between what my eyes physically see and what my emotions see, resulting in a serenity that lingers throughout each day. I work with a digital manual camera and a variety of lenses to capture the imagery I envision creating later. I believe this type of visual imagery does not become a photograph until it is produced on some sort of physical substrate. Not only are my eyes, emotions, and knowledge woven into my art but, my tactile need to become involved in creating each photograph must also be satisfied by printing, mounting, and cutting each piece. My eyes see form, color, texture, volume and tones in what surrounds me in the moment; either created by living beings or by nature. My emotions are heightened by the wonders of man’s and nature’s talents and sometimes the results of their battles. Through the digital darkroom I dive deeper; sculpting the extraordinary from the ordinary composition which my eye saw through my camera’s lens, while using the camera’s technology to begin its visual journey to being a photograph. The photographic composites and abstracts I create are influenced by the Surrealist movement---tapping into my subconscious reality. Additionally, I relate to Paul Klee’s philosophy that each piece be different."
"Clementine is a silver gelatin print that uses a common archeological format for uncovered remains (coins, pottery, etc.). Within the grid, six clementine peels, taken from the area near the root, are juxtaposed against one another as unique, yet similar “finds”. The inspiration of science is apparent in the visual tactics used throughout my work. Taking from paths of study such as; archeology, geography, astronomy, and criminology, I produce personal records that question and challenge the notion that some objects, places, or processes deserve more study than others."
“I constantly fetishize over imagery. I integrate familiar domestic materials so I can investigate color, shape, line, and their relationships. The use of such items in my work is intended to convey a search for purpose and relates to my sense of curiosity and aesthetic vision. My goal is to create tension between these insignificant materials and the spaces they occupy. I have found a resting point; a temporary sense of completion.”
“High Priestess of sacred arts. Mami Wata child. Hoodoo. Witch. Songstress. Dancer. Magic mistress. Music maker. Vision weaver. Daughter of the North Star. Artist. Seer. Seeker. Poet. Teacher. Student. Trickster. Healer. Fool. Lover. Story keeper. Storyteller. Sensualist. Bawdy wild woman warrior. She who casts the bones. Tarot. Ecstatic shamanic dream-walker. Priestess of pleasure. Rainbow. Kaleidoscope. Changing. Feri. Szmeralda Shanel MA is a ritual, visual, and performance artist. She is certified in the fellowship of Isis as Adept, Priestess, and hierophant, and is legally ordained through the Temple of Isis in Geyserville, CA. As an expressive arts therapist, facilitator and educator, Szmeralda is dedicated to sharing the healing, therapeutic and growth-promoting values of the creative process.”