Artist in Residence

I am honoured and excited to share with you that I have been selected as an Artist in Residence by the kind folks at Parks Canada and Haida Gwaii Museum. The residency will be for two weeks this coming July and offers a three person exhibition at the museum for early 2018.

The course of my adult life has been seen me following a trail of creative crumbs that continues to lead me to the deeper parts of my soul through connecting with nature and with such a lovely variety of people. I have followed both my family line and my heart’s path. These two upcoming residencies, the first in Gwaii Haanas National Reserve and the second at Earthskin in New Zealand feel like a coming home to elsewhere, that liminal place of land, sea and the greater past. Of nature and of exploration.

Thank you to everyone who helps with words of encouragement and hope. To collectors of my work and professional connections, to my family and my friends: I am so blessed to be sharing these breaths with you. Haawa. Bless.

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Lynn Canyon, North Vancouver

It’s a new day, it’s a new year

Goodbye 2016.jpg

There was so much about 2016 that was so good.

In my mind, it will be the year that I finished my MFA with distinction and moved back to Canada after a year and a half of living in Cornwall, UK; the year David Bowie & Leonard Cohen moved on with such exquisite timing that I was left knowing for certain that art and life (and death) are inextricably linked; the year I visited long time friends that I hadn’t seen in over twenty years in Cheshire, Berkshire and in France; the year of moving back into the live/work building in Vancouver that I left ten years ago; of learning to establish my art practice outside of academia and my previous painting based work. There were sad goodbyes as well as fun and happy hellos. It was the year of living, somewhat begrudgingly, in the city again, all the while longing for the woods, the sea -the clear, quietude of elsewhere.

In other words it was a year of transition. It felt big and full and dense. At times it felt quite heavy, but it never took long to shift perspectives: how lucky am I? Answer: I am incredibly lucky to be living this full-on creative life, with supportive friends and family, with amazing new opportunities and an ever unfolding life of wonders.

For 2017, I have planned 2-hour workshops based on my Day-to-Day Aesthetics methodology (how to live creatively every day through writing, sketching and photography); have opened my practice again to accepting commissions; have been offered a month long residency at the beautiful Earthskin, New Zealand in the fall and a few other bits and bobs that are in the works.

I thank you for coming along, for sharing your love of art, of learning, of caring for the environment and each other. I welcome you to be in touch and I look forward to taking 2017 by the heart with you!

With great big gratitude & love, Siobhan

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Open studio

 

It’s that time of the year in Vancouver and I don’t mean the daily rain or pervasive grey skies. The Eastside Culture Crawl is coming up in less than two weeks and I’m opening my studio for this incredible event! Our building, the ARC (Artist Resource Centre) will have more than two dozen artists and craftspeople opening their doors to allow over three thousand people to see what we do and how we live.

I have been working long hours to put together a new series of drawings that I am super excited about, for various reasons. This series, Of Land  Of Sea, is where my focus on many aspects of ocean life and the metaphors that spring from it, meet the land.

I began making from clay, and drawing coral after finding two pieces of endangered coral tangled and ultimately destroyed by fishing line. They became a tangible, poignant metaphor for what is at risk in the ocean environment, but also work to connect the man-made with the natural.

The use of the circle in this context can pertain to many objects: a microscope, telescope, porthole or Petri dish; it is the formal element that contains the loosely drawn organic shapes. The lines of cut silver paper, suggest mapped streets, measuring markers or directional lines.

In my art practice I am thoughtful about materials used and what they may say about the work being produced. I chose to draw on reclaimed OSB (particle board used for building houses) realizing the use of such a matrix provides depth of meaning to the work, given the etymology of the word Ecology: Oikos, from the Greek for House. Our environment, our home.

I’ll be installing one of my fibre arts sculptures and will have some less recent paintings out to look through. Catalogues and postcards available for purchase as well as the artwork.

Culture Crawl, Siobhan Humston

of-land-of-sea-5_graphite-chalk-pastel-paper-on-panel_61x61_2016      Of Land Of Sea #5, graphite, chalk pastel on panel, 24″ x 24″

Not Lost at Sea

A solo exhibition of drawings and sculptural installation exploring themes of the sea, of journeys and of connection to our natural environment. 

RANGER STATION ART GALLERY, Harrison Hot Springs, BC
September 4-25    Opening reception Sunday, September 4, 2-4pm

Artist Workshop on Sunday, September 25, 2-4pm

www.kentharrisonartscouncil.com

What the Sea Remembers_ drawings copy

In her first solo exhibition since completing her MFA post-graduate degree with distinction at Falmouth University, UK earlier this year, Siobhan continues her exploration of the sea using the metaphor of the boat and abstracted aspects of nature to create visual narratives of degradation,  resilience, and interconnectivity. Living near the water as a former Artist in Residence at the Ranger Station Art Gallery (2012-2013) inspired the themes that grew into an extensive body of work she called Tender to the Sea.

The upcoming Not Lost at Sea is a multi-media exhibition of over two-hundred and thirty drawings and two sculptural installations that highlight her Day-to-Day Aesthetics methodology promoting a committed daily art practice, an earth-friendly ethos, engaging with reclaimed, recycled or found materials, and encouraging exploration of the artist’s urban and natural surroundings.

“It is my wish that through interacting with this body of work, or connecting even with a single element of a particular piece, the viewer is transformed in some way -that they become a participant in the thoughts and ideas presented. To share an appreciation and respect for our astonishing environment and to consider what is at risk, extending beyond the gallery space and into the world of dilemmas and delights gives my artistic practice significant purpose and direction.”

INCLUDED IN THIS EXHIBITION ARE THE FOLLOWING PIECES

A DAY LIKE THIS       Graphite paint, watercolour on vellum
This piece started as little drawings that were of comfort to me as I was doing them;  graphite paint and watercolour sketches based loosely on seaweed found on the beaches of Cornwall. As I painted more and more of them, they seemed to open up in their meaning and even what they seemed to look like. I had ideas of what I would do this them: stacking them to be only seen from the side, making a large window piece that would eventually fade, or, as seen here in their second iteration, as a way to activate a space by installing them as overlapping objects. They are whatever the viewer wants them to be.

DESIRE LINE        Hand sewn, reclaimed moving blankets, lost wax bronze
While in this piece there is an obvious absence of human presence, the human element is represented by scale. These hand sewn boats are hand size and would fit perfectly in our hands like the little boats we may have made as children, cast out to the water with our dreams. When we see objects in groups we can tend to anthropomorphize them, to see them as people, and in that sense, these boats represent so much in a societal context. They can be seen to represent society following the bronze boat that is in the lead but also in a state of decay; it is valued and singular but in obvious decline. And of course one cannot look at boats en masse without thinking of the current migrant crisis, pervasively tragic yet calling forth some beautiful stories of humanity and goodness.
WHAT THE SEA REMEMBERS       Graphite on paper
A drawing in seven parts, this is a visual narrative of beauty in the details and of the falling away of all of those elements through time. Perhaps we are left to question what is at the end of what feel like frightening decline? Is that where we shall begin again? And what is it that causes the meltdown of this beauty? Or can we focus only on the beauty, the minutiae, the details, the possibility for re-growth?  

ENDANGERED 101      Raw clay on silver armature with T-pins
On the North coast of Cornwall, England, I found two pieces of rare coral caught in an orange fishing net. They struck me as beautiful and vulnerable; stoic and quietly tragic as they became simply part of the beach landscape. Dealing with a sense of displacement myself, I felt a strange kinship to these pieces of the sea. With repurposed clay given to me by a friend, I began making little likenesses, molding the clay over silver armatures and as these grew in number, so did the intrigue of seeing them balanced side by side on the studio wall. They clearly became part of a greater story; what that story portrays is open ended. As a viewer, it is where I invite you to fill in the greater details, to mold and arrange your own narrative, your own questions, and your own answers.

ROW THE BOAT OUT       Graphite, graphite paint, acrylic, watercolour on vellum
Drawing is where I begin to understand the work; where I start to feel a grasp on both the subject matter and the ideas swirling around as the work develops. These pieces are guided by relevant interests but not bound by them. I am fascinated by how the images unfold and link quite organically to one another. In this series, the vellum paper became warped as the paint was pulled into the valleys of the surface and I became both a participant and observer in the process of allowing the materials to do their own thing. There is a little bit of magic in this: the artist’s hand is apparent, but so is the will of the material itself. A form of meditation, I consider drawing to be the foundation of my art practice.

Tender to the Sea catalogue, re-release

With over eighty photographs of recent sculptures, installations, paintings and drawings, the Tender to the Sea catalogue has been edited and is about to go to a second printing. It contains forty-eight pages of writing & documentation of the work and work-in-progress.

For pre-order at $14, which will include postage to wherever you’d like it sent, please email me at smhumston@gmail.com, text or call me in Vancouver at 00-1-604-773-9229 or contact me at twitterinstagram or linkedin.

Payment can be made via Paypal, by cash if you’re in Vancouver, cheque via post to Studio 308-1701 Powell Street, Vancouver, BC Canada  V5L 5C9 or by direct deposit via my email address shumston@gmail.com. I am registered on Paypal under my full name and email address smhumston@gmail.com.

Special thanks to Derek von Essen, who helped refine the design and correct all those pesky little mistakes, and to my good friends and my good dad who helped proofread. You are far more insightful than spell check!

Thank you, as always, my lovelies!

Cheers, my lovelies,
Siobhan

cover pages
Front & back cover |  7″ x 9.5″

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Back Lane West, Artist in Residence

December 2015/January 2016. Back Lane West, Artist in Residence.
Redruth, Cornwall   UK

It was a great space to finish off some new work, develop new iterations of recent pieces and re-stage the Tender to the Sea work from my MFA degree at Falmouth University. Special thanks to Jane & Patrick who run this residency with great dedication and with a compassionate interest in what each artist brings to BLW’s collective story.

 

‘In this body of work Tender to the Sea, I weave my art making process through the development of Day-to-Day Aesthetics methodology with varied environmental concerns and personal interests. Through the consideration of materials available to me by chance and circumstance combined with addressing the importance that place plays on the human psyche, I strive to create work that is deeply personal and intricately connected to my time living in Cornwall.

The plan for my time of academic and practical study was not to work on one specific project but to create a body of work that would effectively interlace elements of my existing art practice, adding interests in three dimensional work, sound and video alongside my passion and commitment to issues of the natural environment and human interaction with it.  My task as an artist is to create work that is stimulating, intriguing and inspiring and that may transport the viewer to a state of wonder or awe or inquiry. Using my immediate surroundings, past experiences with my existing creative space, I make objects, installations, video/soundscapes that seek to enrich and broaden the experience of those who come into contact with them. Beyond these concerns are questions, answers, challenges, successes, flops and work that continues to suggest a forward movement. A movement toward connectivity, between myself and the viewer and perhaps even more significantly, between myself and my own work.

Taking inspiration from those artists and critics with similar interests such as Suzi Gablick, Allan Kaprow, Joseph Beuys and the Arte Povera group, I respond intrinsically to the question Where am I in the art? and furthermore think philosophically about Where am I in the seed from which it grows, the fruit that it produces and at all stages in between? To create work that is deeply personal is a risk. It speaks beyond the fashion of what is expected and aspires to uncover new territory. I believe the greatest potential of art-work created from a place of emotional and spiritual authenticity is that it may inspire its audience to also take risks, ask questions and delve deeply into the humanity and fragility that is life.’

Introduction from Tender to the Sea catalogue, 2016