Artist comes full circle

Design / Life

Perth artist Sharon Phelps is busy preparing for one of her biggest showcases yet – a mixed media exhibition being held at Kidogo Arthouse in Fremantle this month.

Sharon, more commonly known as ‘Shabbi’, has joined forces with fellow artist Kirsty Watkins to display ceramics and paintings at Elements Exhibition, which will run from November 16 to 22.

Creating artwork comes as second nature to Shabbi, who began working with clay in the 1970s and held her first pottery exhibition in 1981 out of an old converted railway carriage in her back yard.

Larger, more successful exhibitions and commissions followed, with Boans, Black Swan Gallery, Hotel Lord Forrest and ANZ Bank among her long list of clients.

Shabbi downed tools for personal reasons in the mid-90s but, after a long break, picked up where she left off in 2012, extending her creativity to include acrylics on canvas.

She has entered various exhibitions since, successfully selling large pieces and winning the Bruce Rock Art Award in 2011 and the Fred Killick Art Award in 2015, and has drawn the attention of art aficionados the world over, with customers in London, Ireland, Singapore and America.

And after displaying her work at the Somerville Gallery in Toodyay for several years, last year Shabbi finally opened a studio of her own.

She says Chittering Estate Studio, formerly the Chittering Estate Winery, provides the perfect setting for her organic pieces, which reflect her love of the natural environment.

“This heavenly environment has changed my work to become more flowing, gentle and interesting,” she says.

“It is an exciting new venture for me, to have my own studio open to the public, and to be able to offer the work that I’m so proud of.”

Her inspiration comes from a love of colour, nature and the elements, which are reflected in both her ceramic pieces and paintings.

Her style leans towards abstract, which she says is “more organic, taking on a life of its own”.

“My work has evolved in a more beautiful way.”

Shabbi currently lives in the Chittering Valley, with her husband Peter and a menagerie of birds, chooks, ducks, geese and horses.

She exhibits her work at Chittering Estate Studio every Sunday from 10am to 4pm. Chittering Estate Studio is located at 1399 Keating Road, Moodyne.

Elements Exhibition runs from November 16 to 22 at Kidogo Arthouse, Bathers Beach Fremantle.

Visit Shabbi’s Facebook page for more details –