Sheila Ghidini-Visual Artist

The Geometry of Snow Angels
My work address’s structure, space, geometry, and memory. For years, I have worked with the mini architecture of the chair both two and three-dimensionally. I find the chair form compelling, as a marker in space, as a symbol of presence and absence, and as a fundamental architectural form. The structure of a chair embodies in miniature the elements of architecture, including the potential to hold memory.

In this series of works, found chairs have been reconfigured with special attention paid to negative spaces and cast shadows. Graphite drawn illusionary shadows play against real shadows and negative spaces are layered on top of each other. Thread and pins map out distances of each location, each configuration changing based on the site. What’s lost, missing or hidden is as much, if not more, a part of the work than what is tangibly present.


Sheila Ghidini was born in Connecticut. She attended Hartford Art School, University of Hartford and did graduate work at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan. She completed an M.F.A. in sculpture at the University of California, Berkeley, receiving the Sylvan and Pam Coleman Memorial Fellowship. She was an artist-in residence at The Headlands Center for the Arts and The American Academy in Rome Summer program. She has received grants from the Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation, the Krasner-Pollack Foundation, the San Francisco Arts Commission, the Marcelle Labaudt Memorial Fund, Rockefeller Foundation and the Connecticut Commission on the Arts. Sheila has completed several public art commissions in the Bay Area and has work in public and private collections, including the Runnymede Sculpture Farm in Woodside and has recently been acquired by the de Young Museum in San Francisco. She presently resides in San Francisco and has taught art throughout the Bay Area, including University of California, Berkeley, California College of Arts, San Francisco State University and University of California Extensions.


Statement about work:

My work is about spatial relationships. By mapping metric spaces on to one another, using a kind of isometry, I’m representing multiple layers and levels of space, simultaneously. Drawing and installation are my means of examining specific spaces. I rotate, reflect, and translate a space and layer it on top of other spaces, often integrating the shadow space and the spaces of overlap as elements.

Chairs are a reoccurring image in my work both two and three dimensionally. My interest in this mini architecture began before graduate school and has persisted. I find the basic structure of a chair and its rudimentary relationship to architectural space compelling. Found chairs often become starting points for sculptural objects and installations and my graphite drawings are layered studies of this structure as I fold it into itself or open it up. Chairs are markers of location in space and for me can become signifiers for place.

Every part of a space contains knowledge of every other.

Bill Viola (notes from migrations 1976)