A living artwork in the Shetland landscape. Three site-specific outdoor performances by artist Vivian Ross-Smith took place around Shetland on Saturday 10, 17 and 24 April 2021.


Saturday 10 April | Harrison Square - 11:00 - 12:30


Saturday 17 April | B9071, Gonfirth - 11:00 - 12:30 (Latitude: 60.338438, Longitude: -1.318864)


Saturday 24 April | St Ninians Isle - 11:00 - 12:30

The Island is The Gallery is an accumulation of two prior projects exploring accessibility of the artworld. In July 2020, I created BROADCAST, a series of durational performances for which I created wearable works of art to show over the Shetland Webcam network, a 24 hour, tourist focused website showing live scenes of Shetland. Each performance saw me hijacking the video stream to "exhibit" my art online, I attempted to disrupt an outsider's perspective of island life by becoming visible to the cameras yet invisible in the physical space.

In late 2020, to further tackle questions around the presentation of artwork in our Covid-climate, I occupied an outdoor exhibition space in the form of a glasshouse gallery for Perimeter: Ways of Seeing. I presented a 24hour video stream of my BROADCAST performances and periodically dressed in wearable paintings to inhabit the space alongside the screen. During these performances, I engaged passers-by in silent conversation, using the space itself as a window in as well as a barrier and screen, to contemplate the tensions between absence, presence, and physical and digital forms of communication.

On 10, 17 and 24 April, I invited islanders to take a walk, find me out in the landscape and engage in a non-verbal conversation with an artwork. (Vivian Ross-Smith)

Vivian Ross-Smith is an artist working from the Shetland Islands. She adopts a collaborative and systematic approach to making and sharing through performance, painting, textiles and the digital. Her work creates space to discuss island life from a contemporary, fine art context and explores the textures, qualities and values of material and space. Ross-Smith's work builds relationships and conversations between material, place and people and is as much about experiencing as it is about seeing.

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A durational performance piece disseminated over the Shetland Webcam network in July 2020.

Ways of Seeing (2020)
Alongside footage from BROADCAST, Vivian distrupted Perimeter (Shetland Arts temporary outdoor venue) with a series of performances, made in wearable paintings.

Image credits: Vivian Ross-Smith