Shelby Lund

My art practice is an ongoing exploration of my own physicality in relationship to the planetary system that we live within. With a continual yearning to know the mysteries of Earth, my subject matter is most often informed by spaces that pulsate – with life, and death, and infinite potential. Being immersed in my environment to physically explore in unstructured and playful ways is central to my practice. My focus is not limited to any one place or point of origin, so instead reflects both my changing geographical locations as well as the interconnectedness of all living and non-living forms. In my artistic practice, painting, photography, and sculpture become visual experiments, recording personal moments of curiosity, intuitive decision-making, and a persistent desire to surrender to uncertainty. Through both historical and current photographic processes, sculptural gestures, and representational and abstract paintings, my ever-evolving relationship with the cosmos and Earth is revealed. It is through experiential learning that I become deeply embodied, as my totality is reflected in the mysterious and cyclical nature of our universe, and it in me. With my artwork mirroring the phenomena and relationality of the world, either in creative process or representation of subject matter, vibrancy is revealed.

Through painting, photography, and writing I will express my physical and psychological journey as I come to know the water that surrounds Gibraltar Point. To create this relationship I will physically immerse myself in the water once a day for the duration of the ‘Once Upon Water’ artist residency. Each dip will be met with profound self-awareness, as I notice how my mind, body, and spirit are in response to my new environment. Using all my senses, I will explore Lake Ontario. I will notice its temperature, its smell, its density, its taste, and more. For this project I will work on a large scroll. This will allow me to convey the passage of time, along with the interconnectedness of each individual day. Similar to a diary, this scroll will serve as a visual and textual record of my explorations. By creating a single artwork, composed of many separate but interconnected experiences, I hope to explore concepts of impermanence, wholeness, and embodiment. I will also consider how this Great Lake compares to other bodies of water that I know, and question what these possible similarities or differences could mean.


Shelby Lund is an emerging visual artist from Saskatoon, Canada, who works primarily in painting, photography, and installation practices. In 2015 she received her BFA with great distinction from the University of Saskatchewan. Shelby is currently completing her MFA at the same institution, and is expecting to graduate this upcoming fall, 2023. Shelby is the recipient of numerous awards and scholarships, with the most notable being the BMO 1st Art! prize and the SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarship. Shelby has shown provincially in projects at the Art Gallery of Swift Current, Mann Art Gallery, AKA artist-run, and PAVED Arts. She has also exhibited nationally in juried exhibitions at the Byward Market Gallery, the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, and the John. B. Aird Gallery.

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