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 and Vivian Ross-Smith.

islandness aims to bring people and place together, forging new bonds among individuals, artists and communities beyond the framework of a single artwork or contemporary art exhibition.



Being from Britain’s most remote inhabited island, Fair Isle, Vivian Ross-Smith has spent the majority of her life as part of extreme landscapes and fragile communities.

Through her art practice Ross-Smith studies and explores her rugged island surroundings. Using traditional methods of crafts(wo)manship such as knitting, preserving skins, net making and metal work, to explore relationships between material and surface; and between man made and natural.

Ross-Smith is interested in the passing of knowledge through generations, resulting in communities having a deep understanding toward their place. Combining elements of painting, textiles and sculpture she embeds stories and traditions of island life into the materials and imagery of her work.



Jane Walker is an interdisciplinary artist and researcher from Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. She is currently the Chair of Visual Artists Newfoundland and Labrador, a visual arts editor for Riddle Fence, and she is a founding board member of a new developing artspace in Port Union, Union House Arts.

Her visual art practice and research is grounded in sustainable art practice in rural contexts, craft-based research methodologies, place-specificity, and making as a tool for sharing. She works and lives in Bonavista, Newfoundland.