Mikayla Shunk uses lens-based media to explore human expression and interactions. Shunk focuses on capturing the human essence, including the manipulation and depth of human faces. The importance of capturing a person’s raw self is most difficult, but most rewarding. Her work embodies the individual within the portrait she takes. Other underlying meanings are meant to emerge through the collaboration of other people, places and objects; a plastic bag acts as a supportive object to further the message of protecting the environment. Much of her work and inspiration depends on her mood, for different emotions evoke very diverse forms and creations of art.
Exploring nature and vast landscapes, Shunk documents nature and the strange things that form in human nature, like a cloud shaped like a tiger or a mountain resembling a human. Nature fills the sense of emptiness through its energy and light. This concept of empty and full, broken and complete, plays a role in her nature photography. Two days can vastly change an experience with nature based on the cloud and weather patterns. Nature is grand and beautiful, but natural causes can cause these landscapes to disappear; documenting them as they currently are in their state of noble beauty is necessary. She uses her nature photography to bring to light the necessity to preserve and protect the environment. In painting, Shunk applies her organized and straightforward way of thinking to create paintings with concrete strokes and an architectural flare. More convoluted multi-media works are in the process, using paint, photo, and found objects.
Shunk uses both photography and digital platforms to capture the oddities within everyday life. Shunk was involved in international exhibitions including Rochester, NY, Easton, PA and Sydney, Australia. She is currently exploring larger installation pieces and printmaking to test layering concepts and ideas together into one concrete art form.