I arrived in here for my one year tenure as Artist in Residence at Marlborough College in Wiltshire, England at the end of August and have been settling into the cottage I’m living in, my designated studio space and have been thoroughly enjoying getting to know the staff and students of this amazing, unique institution. I’m loving the Marlborough region which allows for nearby walks in the farmer’s fields and wooded areas, short walks to the incredible Savernake forest and the close proximity to London is perfect for filling up with gallery shows and visits with friends.
In the studio I’m working on a series of drawings titled ‘Gathering the Gap’ (see below, middle photo); a branch and forest inspired backdrop for a short film in the works(below, left); several sculptural pieces inspired by a pheasant that sadly collided with the art school glass doors; a daily drawing practice so far resulting in two finished large scale drawings (below, middle photo) with two more on the go; experiments with paper clay in ceramics; enlarging and manipulating photographs of fallen trees; and just recently, I’ve been making test plates in the printmaking department. All of the work explores ideas of beauty and fragility, connection to and disconnection from our natural environment as well as considering the passing of time and disappearing aspects of our ‘wild and precious’ lives.
Opening on Friday, February 1st (from 6:40 – 8:30 pm) is a group exhibition ‘Artists’ Sketchbooks’ which affords a rare look at the sketchbooks of eight artists alongside some of their finished pieces. I’m happy to be showing forty of my sketchbooks from the last four years along with recent work. The show will run until the end of February.
Art School, Artist in Residence studio space: September-October 2018 (L). December 2018 (Centre), Pheasant wings still life (R).
Artists in Gwaii Haanas | Siobhan Humston, Sheila Karrow, Gregoire Mabit Haida Gwaii Museum | June 29 -September 15, 2018
This is a three person exhibition conceived by Haida Gwaii Museum and Parks Canada as part of the Artists in Gwaii Haanas Artist in Residence program. Last July, we spent two weeks exploring Gwaii Haanas and making work in response to that incredible adventure back in the museum in Skidegate.
My works in this show were made in various studios over the last year. In the museum I made ninety drawings with graphite paint on photo paper in response to the number of photographs I had taken of islands, then on my return, I suspended them with fishing line on a large elm branch (From the Forest We See Water, From the Ocean We Breathe Land drawing installation).
The Never an Island series of 114 drawings (graphite & watercolour) began in New Zealand and completed at the Sitka Center for Art & Ecology in Oregon where I also made four twin pine needle boats with silver wire constructs (three are shown in this exhibition) titled Other Ways to Find Home. The 36″ square drawings (How to Make an Island #1, 2, 3 & 7) were also created in Oregon during this past autumn and winter, inspired by the Haida creation stories alongside my own thoughts around connection to nature and the term ‘isolation’.
Lastly, the piece in the plexi cabinet, Kunghit Island Finds is an arrangement of 891 pieces of plastic waste from an uninhabited island coastline in south west Gwaii Haanas, collected in under two hours. (read more under the Collection heading, Kunghit Island Finds)
Thank you to Nika Collison (ED & Curator) and to the Museum and Parks Canada staff, and especially to Kathy Pick who graciously used her Air Miles to fly me up for the installation and opening as well as hosted me in her home for both visits! Haawa.
An integral part of my art making process involves reflecting deeply about the poetics of place; about connection and disconnection to our environment; about the state of being in tune with nature. When I was one of three Artists in Residence in Gwaii Haanas and Haida Gwaii museum, I was deeply moved by the sacred sites that honour the beasts, the people, the land and the sea. I found myself in awe of the number of islands in this unbelievably beautiful archipelago as well as the use of the word ‘isolated’ in referring to the geographical area. In contrast, it was apparent how affected we are by the world around us, as I experienced first-hand when I collected, in under two hours, almost a thousand pieces of plastic rubbish on the uninhabited coastline of Kunghit Island.
During my travels of the last year, I have pondered the word ‘isolation’ in reference to islands and in conjunction to the sometimes lonesome aspects of the human condition. These ideas combine with my interest in and concern about climate change, rising sea levels, time passing and a need to feel connected to our surroundings, to nature, to each other. I am intrigued by creation stories as they meet contemporary ideas of quantum entanglement, and in seeing islands as simply the surface of massive mounds of subterranean earth connected beneath the surface, so too can the term isolation be open to discussion.
These drawings, sculptures and installation are part of an ongoing series, a visual and philosophical inquiry into the human condition as our world changes quickly and undauntedly around us. As I continue my own search for ‘home’ I am in constant awe of how all of our stories interweave.
I have just returned from four months in Europe where I was Artist in Residence at Cultureland in the Netherlands and then was invited to work and learn with Lucy Morrow Ceramics on the coast of Brittany, France. Both were incredible experiences where I worked with new materials, explored new places, got to meet and know new people, visited museums and made loads of new work. I worked with artichoke seed pods, found denim jeans, graphite paint, paper (my healthy staple), found fishing lines, porcelain soaked seaweed, slip cast porcelain and porcelain paper. I’ll be posting some of this new work as well as work created at other residencies in New Zealand and Oregon, under the Drawings and Sculpture headings.
The big news is that while I was in Europe I applied for a long term residency position, was shortlisted, participated in the six hour interview process and was selected as Marlborough College’s sole Artist in Residence for the 2018/2019 school year. I am super excited to be moving back to England to live and work on the college campus in Wiltshire.
Later this month I am stoked to be heading north for the three person exhibition ‘Artists in Gwaii Haanas’ at the Haida Gwaii Museum at the end of June.
While I’m in the Vancouver area for the next two months, I will be showing and selling my artwork, as seen in the updated PDF below. I have an amended PDF of what is now available for sale. For questions about purchasing more recent work as seen on my website, or to be in contact about other inquiries please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or feel free to ring. When I am not in town, I have artist colleagues who will be looking after any rentals or sales of my work so I will forward requests onto them and they’ll be happy to help facilitate viewings and sales.
I could not be such a nomadic artist without the support of my friends and family so Thank You for your ongoing interest, encouragement and love – it all makes my world spin.
“During my Cultureland residency I have been inspired by the exquisite graphic beauty of the polder areas, imagining the changes that the land and water have experienced over the centuries. I am interested in this transformation, what soil, water and human hands produce and the often overlooked aspects of natural beauty. From these considerations, I have made a series of graphite drawings, a fibre arts piece sewn reclaimed denim trousers, tea bags embedded with seeds and a small but substantial sculpture created by threading together over a thousand artichoke parachutes.”
Siobhan Humston (1967) is an interdisciplinary artist based in Vancouver, Canada. She holds an undergrad degree in printmaking from Crawford College of Art & Design in Ireland and was recently awarded an MFA (Art & Environment) with distinction from Falmouth University in the UK. Her life-long love of the natural environment coupled with a profound concern for its welfare fuels her desire to make art that may stimulate observers to consider their own connection to or disconnection from nature. She prioritizes using environmentally sensitive working methods, keeping in mind that ‘Art is an inseparable and essential part of human life.” (Grace McCann Morley)
Cultureland is a foundation that organizes creative work periods, projects and activities at the cutting edge of culture and nature. Cultureland began an Artist In Residence program in January 2017, giving artists time and space to develop work relating to the landscape and natural environment.
This year has beenlife changing for me with shifts, growth and moves continuing into 2018. I offer a heartfelt thank-you to everyone who has shown myself and my work love in its many forms. It has become a tangible extension of my art practice to really experience life as one extra large, amazing and loving community.
Moving my things into storage in June, traveling to Ireland for the funeral of my beloved Uncle Liam, dog-sitting at Lake Huron near my parents, artist residencies in Haida Gwaii, New Zealand and currently Oregon; the deep satisfaction that comes with a love of natural elements, the ever intriguing inner journey and my art practice has made this whirlwind year a remarkable, beautiful collection of days!
In mid-January I return to Vancouver for a few weeks, then I’m excited to be Artist in Resident at Cultureland in the Netherlands. This two month residency will be a combination of city/culture (Amsterdam) and rural/nature (Starnmeer) culminating in an exhibition back in Amsterdam. In June, the work developed from the Haida Gwaii Museum/Parks Canada residency will be exhibited at the Haida Gwaii Museum, British Columbia curated by Niko .
In an effort to transfer my belonging into a smaller storage unit, I will be selling some paintings and household type things. If you’re interested, touch base via email. I have a PDF of available artwork with photos, sizes, medium and prices.
Thank you again, with best wishes for a fantastic year ahead!
My studio & new work at the fabulous Sitka Center for Art & Ecology, Oregon, USA
For all these trees. For this cabin. For the studio. For my neighbours. For this beautifully enveloping artist residency at Sitka Center. For the Sitka workers.
For land without names, borders and division.
For time & space to explore. For the desire, ability and encouragement to create art.
For the elks who have and have not been shot during hunting season.
For the rain. For the sunshine. For the wind, for the thunder. For the river, the estuary, the ocean. For the seals and sea lions, fish and birds.
For those who trust. For those who help. For those with compassion. For friends who be in touch, for friends who don’t. For friends who love. For family.
For music. For contrast, pain, doubt, sorrow, loss. For introspective time & the inner journey.
For counters of stars. For thinkers, actors, writers, dancers, lovers. For caretakers.
For angels. For all my relations in spirit. For dreamers.