The first time I encountered Shona McAndrew’s work was in the room The Staging of Vulnerability, curated by Allison Zuckerman, at the 2017 SPRING/BREAK Art Show. I immediately was drawn to her work, the multiple mediums of her art practice, and the warmth and confidence that radiates from each of the women she depicts. Somehow through fate I posted her work on Instagram and we became online friends; mutually appreciating each other’s accomplishments, giving each other advice, sending cat photos, and even having Shona encourage me in my own art practice. It was this base of friendship, of mutual trust and admiration, that when Shona asked if I would send her a nude of myself, based on her own nude self-portrait, for her to paint me for her solo show MUSE, I immediately said “YAS!”. The experience of being an artist’s muse, in particular one of Shona’s, was a special and unique experience. By letting myself be seen at my most vulnerable, literally being photographed naked playing with my cats in my bathroom, at first made me nervous. Not only did I trust her to see me completely exposed, but I was also putting my likeness in her hands, for her to depict for the whole world to see. As a person living in recovery from eating disorders, I was bit anxious to see the final result.
by Alexandria Deters