Shirley trained in Kingston-upon-Hull, and presently lives and works in Manchester. During Summer 1994 she attended the first international symposium in Prelip, Macedonia and also presented work and a guest lecture at the Kostelec Bohemia Festival in the Czech Republic in September 1995. In 1996 she was awarded a Henry Moore Foundation Bursary that supported residences in West Yorkshire and Western Australia. Shown at Whitworth Art Gallery and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, and teaches at Bretton Hall.
"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately,
to front only the essential facts of life
and see if I could not learn what it had to teach,
and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived." Thoreau