Shannon Williamson

b.1985

Continuous Positive iii

  • Purchased 2016 with funds generously donated by Sarah Lucas, Sadie Coles HQ, London and Two Rooms, Auckland, in response to the February 2011 Canterbury earthquake.
  • gouache and pencil on paper
  • 574 x 798mm
  • 2016/048
  • 2016

Shannon Williamson is an artist who trained as a sleep scientist. Her drawings begin with the data she gets from recording sleep. In the ‘Continuous Positive’ works, she includes medical notes and translates records of sensory experience into specific colours and reoccurring motifs like rainbows and circles. The drawings are like maps of the circadian rhythms of the body, the natural processes of regulation and repair that occur within sleep and intimately affect the way people function and how they feel about themselves. The title refers to the form of sleep therapy Williamson works with, Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. It also suggests the state of mind necessary to keep going through difficulty. “I needed money to make art, but I needed time to make art, which was hard with a day job—I had to be continually positive about my practice,” she says.

(Now, Then, Next: Time and the Contemporary, 15 June 2019 – 8 March 2020)