Artist Feature: Fiona Roberts

Editor Shenyah Webb, Art, November 24th, 2015

"The home and body are palimpsests of life events, their history inscribed..."

fiona roberts art installation nailed magazine

My home is what I live for. My home is my son, my husband, my lamps, my favorite coffee cup, the dining room set and area rug, my blankets and pillows.

Many years ago I met a boy on a train traveling west from Detroit. After knowing each other only three days, we departed on a plane with a one-way ticket to Maui, where we chose to live homeless. This was the most demanding and laborious undertaking I had ever experienced.

I lasted one year. In that year, I became so ungrounded that I built a home out of plumbing pipes, butcher paper and plastic. A trapezoidal fixture in the middle of the rain forest. Though I had no running water or electricity, I made do, and I felt safest in this little sanctuary.

A sanctuary that completely broke me, with a partner who completely broke me. I left Maui broken.

Now, many years later, I light my fireplace for the sake of it, switch on my lamps at dusk, run a hot bath before bed. There isn’t a single moment that I don’t feel thankful for all that I have, live for and work for. My home.


From the Artist:

The house and the body are palimpsests of life events with their history inscribed into every surface. They are repositories of treasured moments, of everyday routines and memories, of growing up or growing old, of accidents, of habits, and of fear and trauma.

The subjective nature of the home is explored through a variety of body textures that are obscured by pattern, repetition, and traditional ornamentation in household furnishings. This blurs the boundaries between the home and body, making it difficult to determine where the house ends and where the person begins.

The conventional items of the home that generally go unnoticed become the focus of our attention and quietly reveal their personal history.

The gallery below is a walk through of the installation created by Fiona Roberts called “Intimate Vestiges.”

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fiona roberts art nailed magazineFiona Roberts is an emerging artist who was born in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia. She received her Bachelor of Visual Arts (Honours) from Adelaide Central School of Art in 2011. Since graduating she has shown work in three curated exhibitions including “Tough Love” at the Australian Experimental Art Foundation (Adelaide), The Beginning of the End” at Format Gallery (Adelaide), “A Book Between Two Stools” at the Boghossian Foundation, “Villa Empain” in Brussels and “TAKE! EAT!” in London, October 2015.  She received an Australian Council grant to fund her solo exhibition “Intimate Vestiges” held at KickArts, Cairns, Queensland and Format Gallery in Adelaide in 2015. She currently lives and works in South Australia.


Shenyah Webb

Shenyah Webb is a Portland-based visual artist and musician. She has been with NAILED Magazine since its inception in 2012 and has served as the Arts Editor and a Contributing Editor since its launch in 2013. A Detroit native, she attended The College for Creative Studies, where she focused on Fine Art and Industrial Design. She is currently enrolled in a Somatic Expressive Arts Education and Therapy training program, studying under Lanie Bergin. You can learn more about Shenyah here. (