I wonder if our studios look like our brains? It’s something that I’ve been thinking about ever since I visited the studio of Siobhan Humston’s studio in Harrison Hot Springs, a tiny vacation town in southern British Columbia.
When faced with eviction from her beloved Vancouver live/work space, Siobhan began an odyssey of couch-surfing and artist residencies that ended up in this one year artist residency at the Ranger Station Art Gallery in Harrison. The Ranger Station is a two story building with a community art gallery downstairs and a rambling apartment upstairs. In return for being the artist in residence and manning the gallery on weekends, Siobhan has the entire second floor to fashion to her own needs.
As someone who has shared her home for over 20 years with one husband, two kids, three cats, and various small mammals and fish, I found it fascinating to see the home of an artist who lives with only one peaceful cat. The freedom to set up your home to suit your own interests is very appealing.
Naturally, there’s a normal bedroom and kitchen/dining area, but the rest of the place is set up to suit her many creative pursuits. It’s like a dream come true for anyone who has ever had to clean up her art project so dinner can be served! She has a meditation corner that looks out onto beautiful Harrison Lake. She has her musical instruments set up in another corner, a merry mix of drums, mandolins, violins, and the like. There is book-filled nook for relaxing.
She has a small back room with her sewing machine and fabric stash, where she is crafting pillows, clothing and accessories.
She has a back room filled with power tools where she builds panels and sculptures. It's filled with supplies for her next sculpture project.
She has a big painting studio with multiple works on tables and pinned on walls.
There is a tiny corner for small coloured pencil works, where I longed to sit at the little desk and doodle.
A driving force behind Siobhan’s work is recycling. Many of her fabrics are donated or salvaged, and even some of the papers she paints on were saved from dumpsters. Her current sculpture project is based on one year’s worth of her waste, things that could not be recycled or composted. She has been collecting raw materials with a childlike freedom, sometimes with a vision and sometimes for unknown future possibilities. You can check out her lovely work here.
I really enjoyed my visit to Siobhan’s studio. It stirred my creative imagination to have a peek into her creative process through her studio. I drove up to Harrison with fellow artists, Rachael Ashe and Valerie Arnzten. We were all so inspired by the trip that each one of us blogged about it. For different perspectives, I've linked to their posts as well.
Now, look around at your studio. What's it saying about you?