About the Cover Artist – Shirley Ann Tipping

Shirley-OriginalBWShirley Ann Tipping was born and raised in Liverpool, England. She has had a keen interest in photography since the age of 14. Shirley moved to Glasgow, Scotland in 1992, where she became a photographer’s assistant. She graduated from the Glasgow School of Art in 1996 with a Bachelor of Arts with honors degree. Shirley is currently a Glasgow-based photographic artist who also works as a part time school librarian.
Since her first extensive visit to the American West in the autumn of 2001, Shirley has been engaged in an ongoing photography project, making an annual trip every summer. Shirley works with a combination of medium format and 35mm black and white film images and color digital images. Her work explores what remains of the West’s transient past. She has a particular interest in old movie sets, ghost towns, mines, ranch houses and pioneer dwellings – not only their aesthetics, but their relationship to the surrounding environment, their history, and their abandonment.
Shirley is drawn by the vastness of the West, the raw beauty and the quality of light; to the harsh shadows cast on old, gnarled wooden structures sitting abandoned in the landscape. She is interested in Hollywood’s depiction of the myth, influencing our romance with the West. Shirley grew up watching western movies with her father – her introduction to the American West.
Shirley’s first visit to Salida was in the summer of 2009 as an artist-in-residence with Colorado Art Ranch and Salida ArtWorks (Salida Council for the Arts). She fell in love with the town and the people, returning every summer since. Along with fellow artist-in-residence Alexander Van Ark, she had the first exhibition in the SteamPlant Riverside Annex in 2010. She has had many exhibitions throughout the UK showcasing her American West works. Over the past few years, her photographs have been exhibited in Denver International Airport and at the Western Legends Festival in Southern Utah.
Shirley is currently writing a book documenting the history of the western movie sets that are still in existence today. The project includes firsthand stories from the people who have crossed paths with the sets through various aspects of movie making. The book will be illustrated using movie stills and historical images alongside her present-day images of the movie sets.
Shirley’s work can be viewed at www.shirleytipping.com, or you can follow her book progress on the Western Movie Sets Facebook page. The book project is self-funded. Shirley is fundraising for her next trip across the Atlantic to photograph the remaining movie sets. If you would like the rare opportunity to visit an original working western movie set, she will be hosting a fundraising chuck wagon dinner complete with saloon entertainment, and showing The Cheyenne Social Club at Eaves Movie Ranch (New Mexico), the set the movie was originally built for and exclusively filmed at. The event is due to take place in July 2015. Contact shirley@shirleytipping.com for further details.