Shell Bankier grew up sailing with her family, giving her a deep love for the ocean.
At age 16, she was paralysed in a horrific car accident that ended her father’s life and left her fighting for her own. Learning to walk was a long and painstaking process, and she defied all her doctors’ prognoses, slowly rebuilding her life. Since then, she has lived with severe chronic pain and the life-long repercussions from the accident, but photography gave her a lifeline and a new purpose. Shelli’s photography focuses on sea and sky, with a quiet visual simplicity that pays homage to nature’s unique architecture, creating images more akin to fine art than traditional surf photography. Yet she’s not averse to shooting a Gold Coast cyclone swell, huge Hawaiian surf, or thirty foot Teahpo’o in Tahiti from a tiny boat. Shelli’s one of the few female photographers contributing to major surf magazines and her work has appeared in numerous exhibitions here and in Sydney. She self-published her first photography book, BlueSphere, in 2012. Shelli is represented by Art Lovers Australia and lives on the Gold Coast with her wife, young daughter and two dogs. “My photography is what I can do to inspire others; my artworks are mirrors of the Universe, held up to you, showing you the reflection of that grand universal truth and beauty that lives in you,” she says.