half oot afore i’ da left Vivian Ross-Smith An Tobar Gallery April 6 – June 1 “Living on Fair Isle and later the Shetland mainland, we spent every summer travelling from Shetland to Mull and back again. Island hopping remains a key part of my life.” Vivian Ross-Smith, 2018 Ross-Smith’s grandfather was a Scott and […]Read more "half oot afore i’ da left"
Shetland has survived another winter. Despite the current cold weather, the days are lightening and feeling much less heavy now. I have used the winter to ponder over islandness and start to visualise with my collaborator Jane how we can reimagine the project for Shetland. This next set of programming will take place in several […]Read more "Winter work"
This post was written for ‘Islander Exchange’ a new website where myself and Jane Walker will share and develop ideas from our respective islands. Please visit https://islanderexchange.wordpress.com to find more information and follow along. I wake up early on a cloudy Bonavista morning, feeling a bit groggy and too warm. I listen to hear if Jane is […]Read more "What does being an islander mean to you?"
I’m writing this whilst relaxing with a ‘beer cocktail’ in the Port Rexton Brewery in Newfoundland while my friend and partner in islandness, Jane Walker, works a shift behind the bar. We have just had the most fantastic few days kicking off the first events in our collaborative project, something we have been working toward together […]Read more "‘Fish Skin as Art and Craft’ for Bonavista Biennale 2017"
For the past two weeks I’ve been working at Scottish Sculpture Workshop making new metal work for my upcoming collaborative project ‘islandness’. The net needle is an object I’ve been infatuated with for some time now. As a tool it is used to make and repair fishing nets, usually made from wood of plastic. I’m interested […]Read more "islandness casts"
islandness is a living experiment. An open platform spanning the North Atlantic, this project explores life on two northern islands through the art practices of two islanders: Jane Walker (NL) and Vivian Ross-Smith (Shetland Islands). Between August and October 2017 in Newfoundland the artists will host a series of community-based workshops, a community seafood meal, […]Read more "islandness"
Last year I had the delight of being announced the winner of the ‘Painting, Drawing and Sculpture’ category of the Shetland Open Exhibition. As a result the other three category winners (Aimee Labourne, Jeanette Nowak, Gillian Bridle) and I had the pleasure of making work for a group show at Bonhoga Gallery. Time was of the essence […]Read more "Traces"
Recently life has been very busy and I’ve been getting a bit overwhelmed with trying to sort out my thoughts, my anxieties and most importantly my calendar!! I usually get my following year booked up and planned by December if not before, which is great for ensuring I can be as savvy as possible with my […]Read more "Going with your instincts…"
‘Island Connections’ is a series of works considering the relationship between people and land. Vivian recently spent 2months as Artist in Residence on the island of Korpo, where she developed this new body of work as a conversation between the Finnish Archipelago and her home islands of Shetland, and in particular Fair Isle. […]Read more "Island Connections"
Over the festive period I have enjoyed getting back into fish skin preserving. When I preserve skins I do large batches at a time so I have a ‘stock’ to make work from. With depleting numbers however it was time to get preserving a new batch. If at all possible I will preserve fish that have been […]Read more "Winter Preserving"