This website will act as an open platform for exchanges between artists and islanders, Vivian Ross-Smith and Jane Walker.
Vivian Ross-Smith (b. Edinburgh, Scotland) is a visual artist living and working in the Shetland Islands. As a child Ross-Smith and her family relocated to Britain’s most remote inhabited island, Fair Isle, a place that greatly influences her artistic practice. Ross-Smith holds a BA (Hons) in Painting from Gray’s School of Art (2013), with her degree being partly awarded by Turku Arts Academy, Finland. Ross-Smith’s process-based practice spans painting, textile and sculpture. With a focus on traditional skills such as preserving fish skins, net making, knitting and metal work, she embeds stories and traditions of island life into the materials and imagery of her works.
Ross-Smith has participated in exhibitions and residencies across Scotland and internationally, and has received grants and awards from Shetland Arts and Creative Scotland. She works closely with rural arts organisations such as Scottish Sculpture Workshop, and co-founded and runs Visual Artist Unit, an artist-led organisation based in Glasgow that supports emerging artists across Scotland. Ross-Smith currently lectures at University of the Highlands and Islands, Shetland College.
Jane Walker (b. St. John’s, NL) is an artist and researcher based in Bonavista, NL. She holds a BFA in Visual Arts from Memorial University (2015) and a Masters of Research in Creative Practices from The Glasgow School of Art (2016). Within her practice, Walker investigates place-based knowledge(s) and languages. Her rug hooking work engages traditional skills, materiality, site-specificity, and emotional labour in relation to textile practices in northern island and rural regions. Her research focuses on contemporary art access and engagement in rural areas of Scotland and Newfoundland.
Walker has participated in exhibitions and lead workshops in the UK, Ireland, and Canada. Upcoming exhibitions of her work include islandness, a collaborative project that bridges Newfoundland and the Shetland Islands through dialogues about art, islandness, and contemporary rurality, September 16 – October 11 (Eastern Edge Gallery, St. John’s NL) and her first solo exhibition Main Lands and Long Winters, September 24 – January 7 (The Rooms Provincial Art Gallery, St. John’s NL).