"What are Safety Cones?"

10 Questions with Lana Shuttleworth by Patrick Fisher,

Visual artist Lana Shuttleworth is best known for how she uses safety cones and post-consumer plastics as mediums. In 2008 Shuttleworth and her work were featured as an answer on television’s “Jeopardy.” Host Alex Trebeck read, “Lana Shuttleworth created this 10 ft landscape out of these roadside safety devises.”

Shuttleworth has been working with non-traditional mediums for more than 20 years. She creates through a transformative process that starts with deconstruction and then progresses to formation. One person’s trash is another person’s, well… art supplies, and Shuttleworth’s artistic statement is linked to her belief that as citizens of the world we must act as stewards of the environment and reduce, reuse, and recycle to prevent catastrophic degradation of the Earth’s resources and natural landscape.

We live in a time where we can buy practically anything with only a few clicks and keystrokes. When we are too focused on convenience, however, we often overlook

the environmental costs of consumption habits that have increased as a result of technological advances and global markets. Where does all the “stuff” go when we discard it and truthfully what is the earth’s capacity to store or decompose all of our rubbish?

Plastic starts in nature as an organic product. Cellulose, coal, natural gas, salt, and crude oil are combined through complex processes to give us our packing, shopping bags, bottles, zip ties, and drinking straws. Much of Shuttleworth’s body of work depicts both literal and idealized landscapes. With her mindful approach to the creative process, Shuttleworth has found a way to return post-consumer synthetics back to a state of nature and harmony. Like so many artists, Shuttleworth’s work is a labor of love. She cuts, carves, and then nails slivers of plastic to surfaces and through this process she creates layered mosaic landscapes.

“I typically begin my creative process with a lot of pacing, a little skipping, and sometimes some dancing. The ideas seem to flow better when I’m in motion."


I am driven by pioneering creativity that lends to a transformative journey through deconstruction to discovery. The work of my hands mated with the ethereal musings and wandering of my mind leads me to discover new frontiers in my material exploration. Crossing continents from my foundational Florida shores to the far flung ice fields of Finland and the multicultural backyards of Los Angeles, I expose my interest to delve beneath the surface of everyday things.

Across the global commons, once diverse landscapes and the societies they support are succumbing to the ideology of progress through plastic consumption. Plastics are nature-transformed from the remains of ancient life buried deep beneath the foot of our cultural landscape. Born into service for progress and bearing evidence of that life existence in the world today, the weathered scars on the ubiquitous safety cone currently inform my work. With a safety cone, I can strip away the pretext of traditional mediums.

While the outward expansion of cityscapes brings forth the perceived demise of the naturescape, I transform the cone flesh beyond its intended purpose to recreate a fundamentally familiar shared space in the visual artscape preserve. Where groves give way to gravel, my hand is depended on to bring forth a feast for the eyes through landscape surfaces that I cut, carved and assemble with thousands of slivers of plastic and brad nails. As the destructive razing of Nature precedes the constructive raising of man to change his nature, the ordinary cone form is elevated into the extraordinary as intricate impressionistic wall constructions of color and sculptural freestanding forms creating whimsical reminders of an aspirant return to that original Nature.

Lana Shuttleworth ARTIST


  • 2017


    Public Art at Hemming Park; Jacksonville, Florida

  • 2017

    Group Exhibition: lmore than this

    Space Gallery, Jacksonville, Florida

  • 2004

    Best in Show

    Open Show, Hammer Museum, Gallery 825/LAAA, Juror: James Elaine, Los Angeles, California

  • 2001

    First Solo Exhibition

    Headlines, Pippin Gallery, Portland, Oregon.

  • 1993

    Florida State University

    Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Florida State University Arts School.



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  • B.F.A. Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida

Selected Solo Exhibitions


  • Plasticized, Moorpark College Gallery, Moorpark, California
  • Plasticized, Englewood Art Center Mitchell Gallery, Englewood, Florida


  • Ethnomorphic Landscapes, George Billis Gallery, Culver City, California


  • Recent Works, George Billis Gallery, Culver City, California


  • Cone Migration, Bandini Art Gallery, Los Angeles, California


  • Regenerative Life and Art, Gallery 825/LAAA, Los Angeles, California


  • Guts without Carcasses, Gallery 825/LAAA, Los Angeles, California


  • Headlines, Pippin Gallery, Portland, Oregon

Selected Group Exhibitions


  • more than this, Space Gallery, Jacksonville, Florida


  • Blank Canvas, Washington Reid Gallery, Culver City, California
  • The Cylinder, the Sphere, and the Cone, Curated by Darlene DeAngelo, Huntington Beach Art Center, Huntington Beach, California


  • Off the Wall, Armory Art Center, Pasadena, California


  • ReCreate LA: A Sustainable Art Solution, Tree People, Curator Marielos Zeka, Beverly Hills, California


  • Under the Knife, Armory Art Center, Curator Sinead Finnerty-Pyne, Pasadena, California


  • Don’t Fence Me In, Bandini Art Gallery, Culver City, California
  • Project Forefront and Ongoing 2008, Gallery Revisited, Silverlake, California
  • RECREATE, Paragone Gallery/Gensler, Santa Monica, California


  • Plays Well with Others, Santa Monica College/The Pete and Susan Barrett Art Gallery, Santa Monica, California
  • Living Room: Conscious Art and Design, Metro Gallery, Los Angeles, California
  • Gem, Gallery 825/LAAA, Los Angeles, California


  • That Show, Gallery Revisited, Silverlake, California
  • Gem, Gallery 825/LAAA, Juror Joni Gordon, Los Angeles, California
  • Petite Works, Gallery 825/LAAA, Los Angeles, California


  • In the Abstract, Gallery 825/LAAA, Juror Carl Berg, Los Angeles, California
  • 2005 Juried Exhibition, Los Angeles Municipal Gallery, Jurors: James Elaine; Barbara Gilbert and Karin Higa, Los Angeles, California
  • Out Auction for the LAGLC, Pacific Design Center, Los Angeles, California
  • Tar Fest, Miracle Mile, Los Angeles, California
  • Petite Works, Gallery 825/ Bergamot Annex, Los Angeles, California


  • Open Show, Hammer Museum, Gallery 825/LAAA, Juror James Elaine, Los Angeles, California
  • Barnsdall 2004, Los Angeles Municipal Gallery, Los Angeles, California
  • White Plains, Gallery 825/LAAA, Juror Michelle Isenberg, Los Angeles, California
  • The 50/50 Show, Gallery 825/LAAA, Los Angeles, California


  • It’s a Fine Line, Gallery 825/LAAA, Juror Claudine Ise, Los Angeles, California
  • The (Return of the) 50/50 Show, Gallery 825/LAAA, Los Angeles, California
  • And Now a Word from Our Sponsor, Coagula, Gallery 825/LAAA, Juror Mat Gleason, Los Angeles, California
  • Dust is also Buddha, Studio Channel Islands – Camarillo Art Center, Curator David Feinner, Camarillo, California
  • Electric, Transport Gallery, Los Angeles, California

Public Art


  • Origins, at Hemming Park; Jacksonville, Florida


  • Sakura, at Los Angeles World Airport (Department of Cultural Affairs), Los Angeles, California


  • Origins, at the Armory’s Madison Neighborhood Casita, Pasadena, California


  • Origins, at the Armory’s Madison Neighborhood Casita, Pasadena, California



  • Best in Show, Open Show, Hammer Museum, Gallery 825/LAAA,
  • Juror: James Elaine, Los Angeles, California