In preparation for our teen writing workshop and Shetland’s Night of Creativity, we’re getting to know a few local creatives. Today we learn a bit about Vivian Ross-Smith, a Shetland-based visual artist.
I am a visual artist currently living in Lerwick but the place I call home is the island I grew up on, Fair Isle.
Island life is a driving force behind my art practice. Focusing on landscape, geology, community and traditions, I study and explore extreme and remote places to find my inspirations.
The work I make is experimental, tactile and surface based. I explore and contrast materials, using natural and chemical processes that are familiar but not normally associated with fine art to challenge the viewer’s perception and ask them to consider humankind’s modern relationship with the land.
I have recently been interested in the issue of sustainability and climate change in art, considering how our islands’ traditional ways of living and working are changing and adapting to fit into a technological world. Are people still willing to live in extreme and remote locations like Fair Isle?
My work attempts to turn these questions into a visual language; I use traditional methods of craftsmanship such as knitting, net making and preserving skins to explore relationships between material and surface; and between man-made and natural.
Shetland Create is a teen writing workshop and literary event filled with stories, music, food and ceilidh dance hosted in Lerwick, Scotland at Shetland’s Mareel Auditorium on 2 April, 2016 by University of Glasgow students Kirsten Boswell and Angie Spoto. Follow us on Twitter @ShetlandCreate.