b. 1972 in Australia
Shaun Gladwell lives and works in Sydney. He grew up in Sydney’s western suburbs and began to experiment with video after an injury put end to his ambition to become a professional skateboarder. Gladwell describes his practice as a personal relationship to his experience of art historical, philosophical and cultural discourse, through a poetical and critical reading. His recent video works engage these concerns through forms of urban expression such as skateboarding, hip-hop graffiti, BMX bike riding and break-dancing. ‘...The slow-motion, framing and viewpoints of his work are composed in order to open performances to a range or readings that play within and against art historical genres and concepts, such as romantic portraiture, landscape, religious allegory and the death reckoning of vanitas and momento mori.’
In Storm Sequence, a five-minute video presented in slow-motion, Gladwell skateboards on a flat concrete surface above crashing waves at the water’s edge. Ominous, heavy, black clouds of an approaching storm enter the landscape, creating a scene that Gladwell has likened to the brewing storm-cloud skyscapes of a Turner painting.
In the recent years; Gladwell has participated in exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art Sydney, 2005; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris 2006; Busan Biennale, 2006; Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, 2006; 52nd International Venice Biennale, 2007. Gladwell will represent Australia at the 2009 Venice Biennale.