I am a self-taught artist originally from the UK, now living in North Truro on Cape Cod. My source materials are mostly maps, postage stamps and other paper ephemera, though I occasionally include mixed media components in my work.
I make art from items that were created for some other purpose, now isolated from their original function and given a new, more unique role and a life beyond what was initially intended. It's not about repurposing or recycling, but about seeing everyday things in a different way; often using two or more elements and making them better for being together. When I use different items from different sources I combine their individual histories, and in doing so create a new collective history. My Postage Portraits characters can be viewed as either hiding their true selves beneath a mask, or finally letting their real personalities shine beyond their conventional magazine faces.
I’ve been using maps in my art for some years now. I am driven almost entirely by the aesthetics of the colors and shapes within them. My current work involves ‘excavating’ maps; removing specific areas, which then heightens the focus on others. A city street atlas with all the spaces between the roads removed, but the pages of the book left intact, allows the viewer to peer deep into the mass of tangled layers of streets, perhaps a symbol of the messiness of interconnected lives. There is both a sense of loss, of the absence of what has been removed, and a sense of endurance, as the roads remain intact within the fragile structure of the now lace like pages.
Maps are of particular interest to me - they are beautiful to look at, they represent areas lived in and places still to visit, and I have incredibly fond memories of learning to map read when I was very young. As a small child I loved spending time in the car, with me navigating our way home. I clearly remember being excited to predict that there would be a river, or a T-junction, or a hospital a mile ahead, and being thrilled when it was actually there. Now, as an adult, and living on a different continent from where I grew up, maps give me a physical and emotional connection to a time and place left behind, and perhaps a reassurance that it might be returned to in the future.
"We leave something of ourselves behind when we leave a place, we stay there, even though we go away. And there are things in us that we can find again only by going back there." Pascal Mercier (Night Train to Lisbon)
2018: What's Left Behind. Adam Peck Gallery, Provincetown, MA
2017: Excavations. Adam Peck Gallery, Provincetown, MA
Daily Altered Image: Adam Peck Gallery, Provincetown, MA
2016: Short Stories. Adam Peck Gallery, Provincetown, MA
2015: Hidden Truths. A Gallery, Provincetown, MA
2018: Susan Rand Brown, Provincetown Banner, August 2nd 2018: Sian Robertson Creates Webs of Connection
2017: Speaking of Art by M Sebastian Araujo on Visit Provincetown Blog
2016: Steve Desroches, Provincetown Magazine, Volume 39, Issue 15/July 28th 2016: The Geography of You and Me and Everyone in Between
2015: Uppercase Magazine, Issue 26/Summer 2015: Postage Portraits featured.
PROVINCETOWN ART ASSOCIATION AND MUSEUM MEMBERS' JURIED SHOWS
2018: Winter Members' Juried Show (no theme)
2017: Winter Members' Juried Show (no theme)
2014: PAAM100 (My piece 'A Century of Inspiration' was extensively used by the Art Association in publicity materials for that exhibition.)
Winter and Holiday
2011: Holiday Cards
2010: Paper Works
Ongoing: Members Open Shows at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum.
Sian Robertson (b. Carmarthen, Wales, 1963) grew up in South West Wales, in the UK. She received a BEd (Hons) from Rolle College in Exmouth, Devon and went on to work in the union and non-profit sectors in both Bristol and London until moving to America in 1992. After seven years in San Francisco she settled on Cape Cod running retail stores until 2014. She is currently the assistant director of an art gallery in Provincetown.
Robertson has never received any formal art training but has been cutting and pasting, amongst many other creative pursuits, since she was about eight. She began to take this ‘hobby’ seriously around 2005 and since then has devoted most of her free time to further her artistic career. She has had four solo shows at A Gallery and Adam Peck Gallery, both in Provincetown, since 2015.
Robertson’s Postage Portraits were featured in Uppercase Magazine in 2015, and her map collages in Provincetown Magazine in 2016, and she was interviewed for “Speaking of Art” on the Visit Provincetown blog in 2017. She was also interviewed by Susan rand Brown for the Provincetown Banner in 2018. Robertson has had many pieces accepted into juried shows at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum. She also occasionally teaches collage classes at both PAAM and Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill.