Sian Robertson

Current Workshops:

Cartographic Creativity

Sian Robertson is an active member of PAAM and has participated in members’ exhibits since 2009, including having her work selected for several juried shows. Her ‘Postage Portrait’ collages were featured in the Summer 2015 edition of Uppercase Magazine. Her two recent solo shows have featured her figurative pieces made entirely from maps, as well as her work incorporating vintage photos with maps. She is represented by Adam Peck Gallery.


I am a self-taught collage artist originally from the UK, now living in North Truro on Cape Cod. My source materials are mostly 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; using two or more elements and making them better for being together. And by using different items from different sources I combine their individual histories, and in doing so create a new collective history.

My art is about stories and secrets – both wanting to share them and needing to keep them hidden. A way to express parts of myself that otherwise go unseen. A chance to hint at hidden truths. Recently my work has included a short piece of writing, perhaps a sentence, or just a few words, a story that reveals something about the figures I’ve created. The Petite Postage Portraits, new characters created from old postage stamps, each just a few inches tall, come with a unique six word story on the back, a story that is told with the minimum of words yet speaks volumes about the character pictured.

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, maps give me a physical and emotional connection to a time and place left behind, and the 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)