Sheelah's work habitually questions societal conventions and personal patterns of behaviour.
This manifests in John Clare by his life-long desire to return to his early, more simple and innocent life.
Clare's poetry often draws on memories of his childhood when he was "coddled up so tenederly", and to his spiritual first love, Mary Joyce. The village of Helpston, his birthplace and childhood home, figures as his place of safety, his Eden.
In the language of visual art, the Garden of Eden has often been represented as a circular walled space, as a womb from which Adam and Eve are expelled from innocence into knowldege and sin.
Clare's literary sucess could be seen as his bite from the tree of knowledge. Fame removed him from his previous existence in Clare Cottage, his nest. His poetry continually returns to descriptions of the relative safety of animal nests. Sheelah's work explores these concerns.
"I Was" Sheelah Mahalath Bewley 2014 - More Information