Vivian Ross-Smith



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‘Plastic Needle I’ 2017, Bronze. 29.5cm x 3cm, ‘Wooden Needle’ 2017, Copper. 45.5cm x 6cm, ‘Plastic Needle II’, 2017. Bronze, 24cm x 3.5cm

‘Distance’ 2018. Acrylic and gloss medium on wood. 36×28 cm

'Traces II' 2017. Preserved and handstitched Haddock skins and aluminium

‘Us’ 2018. Wooden Installation. 271×270 cm

‘Red Wine and Coffee’ 2018. Acrylic on wood. 37×30 cm

'Haddock Lug Bones' 2018. Bronze. Approx 10cm each.


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.


Vivian Ross-Smith (b. Edinburgh, Scotland) is a visual artist living and working in the Shetland Islands. As a child Ross-Smith and her family relocated to Britain’s most remote inhabited island, Fair Isle, a place that greatly influences her artistic practice. Ross-Smith holds a BA (Hons) in Painting from Gray’s School of Art (2013), with her degree being partly awarded by Turku Arts Academy, Finland. Ross-Smith’s process-based practice spans painting, textile and sculpture. With a focus on traditional skills such as preserving fish skins, net making, knitting and metal work.

Ross-Smith participates in exhibitions and residencies internationally. She works closely with rural arts organisations such as Scottish Sculpture Workshop, co-founded and runs Visual Artist Unit, an artist-led organisation based in Glasgow that supports emerging artists across Scotland, and most recently has been working closely with artist and researcher, Jane Walker to lead their collaborative project, 'islandness'.
Ross-Smith currently lectures at University of the Highlands and Islands, Shetland College.


Please click here to download the CV for Vivian Ross-Smith