Shonagh Adelman's crystal method deploys thousands of colored 4mm glass and acrylic crystals on canvas. A variety of other media (including plasticine, tablets, photographs, and plastic eyeballs) are embedded within the crystal surface.

Beast and the Booty, the first of the 'crystal method' series, conjures familiar archetypes of beauty and beastliness reflecting them back onto the eye of the beholder as light refracts off the shiny glass surface and into the viewer's eye.

Disorderly Conduct, the second series, depicts bizarre scenarios of dissonant action, character and place. Carnival figures romp through the opulent rooms of Chateau Versailles and the Parisian Opera house, the glittery hue amplifying pre-revolutionary excess of the French monarchy.

The third series, Chamber of Beauties, takes one of the rooms in Versailles as its inspiration. Portraits of women, replete with gilded frames, are rendered in 4mm colored crystals and plasticine. Unlike their namesake, which was originally intended to house seventeen portraits of women in Louis XIV's court (never completed), these portraits conjure the ominous association of "chamber" with a confined space, a prison, and puts the contextual, sexual constructs underlying beauty and booty into sharp shiny relief.

The fourth in the series, Loopies, uses the crystal method to re-visit gender tropes, some familiar, others strange. Embedded film loops of moving body parts (lips, eyes, head etc.) breath life into stylized, static host bodies; the composure of still figures, jarred by moving cliches of seduction (pursing, blinking, winking). Undermining and highlighting the fetishistic gaze, film loops transform crystalized bodies simultaneously fulfilling and defying stereotypical expectations.

The fifth series, Beastiful, culls from an array of storytelling traditions, envisioning an eclectic species of animal/human hybrid. Mythology injects humans with animal traits allowing them to exceed the human body. Other narratives enlist animal traits to demote: donkey ears, pig snouts, tails and horns are synechdoches for unlikeable characteristics projected onto the shameful or the wicked. In Beastiful, crystal-coated canvases cast a spectrum of parahumans in stylized portrait genres. A far cry from the wild kingdom, these quasi-beasts only vaguely resemble their animal counterparts. Anthropomorphized stuffed animal toys crystalized into vanity portraits engender a grisly beauty.