Announcing the 2018 scholarship recipients: Sarah Pupo and Fiona Annis

Artist Sarah Pupo (Montreal, QC) will be spending three months in Gotland at the Brucebo summer residency. In her practice Sarah uses intuition, associative thinking and the flux of chance and control as tools to access an inner world. The repetitive action of drawing (sitting down in a particular place, using a set of special objects) and the rhythmic, meditative practice of animation open up a liminal space where time moves differently and it is possible to look and sense in a different way. Dream, emotion, memory, ghost, fantasy (all that can’t be thought through in a linear manner)are addressed more easily through these rituals of making. Her work occupies a place between painting and drawing, incorporating provisional installation and self-taught animation techniques. It is populated by soft, unstable forms that transform and morph; by turns tangible and abject in their decay and messiness and shimmering and dreamlike in their ephemeral presence. These forms move through thought spaces and dream spaces, telling of personal life events and emotional states in an abstract, intimate visual language.

Fiona Annis (Montreal, QC.) is a photographic artist. Her practice includes a wide range of media to explore tensions between concept and material and to select the processes and rhythms that amplify the ideas underpinning each of her projects. This method of working is paired with an ongoing interest in how the past inhabits the present. In this respect, the prefix ‘re’ is in constant use: return, revenant, remediate, and reinvent all reoccur in the writings that describe her various projects. This anachronistic approach has led her to research photography’s uncanny relationship with the past and to explore existing materials, images, and technologies in search of new meanings. With the support of the Brucebo travel scholarship, Fiona will develop a new project that explores the connection between photography, astronomy, and optical phenomena. She will be visiting historic astronomical observatories in Europe to conduct research and create new work on-site.

Congratulations to both artists. We look forward to following up on your travels!


LAURA FINDLAY’S GROUNDS: Painting and installation from Gotland

Laura Findlay, the 2017 recipient of the Brucebo Fine Art Residency Scholarship, created a body of work titled Grounds during her three months stay in Gotland. Below is her project description and images from the final installation of her work presented at the Konstnärshemmet Brucebo gallery.

“While at Brucebo I created Grounds, a body of work that responded to the ancient geologic history of Gotland through painting and installation using sandblasted found objects. I visited sites throughout Gotland that featured cliffs, beaches, and rauk stacks which were all the result of erosion around the limestone rich island. I then looked to the three minor mass extinctions that occurred during the Silurian period, causing the death of all life within the rich tropical coral forests that existed at that time. The calcium from the bodies of the coral and sea life settled on the sea bottom and compressed over millions of years into the what now makes up the contemporary, limestone landscape of Gotland. Over 400 million years, the land mass shifted away from the equator to where it is now in the Baltic, and has been above water for approximately ten thousand years. It’s this relatively recent span of time that has seen the erosion that shapes the rauks and cliffs of Gotland.”


“Using images sourced from other artists’ interpretation of what a tropical Silurian landscape would look and feel like, I produced a series of paintings that were accompanied by sandblasted found ceramic objects. These objects were vases and vessels that were purchased from a variety of loppis – Swedish flea markets – and sandblasted using coarse grit to strip away the glazing to reveal the ceramic core of each vase, using sandblasting as a means of artificially accelerating time. The commercially produced vases would generate different reactions to sandblasting depending on the quality and variety of clay used in their production. Cracks and defects become exaggerated in softer ceramics, while porcelain can withstand having the glaze stripped away with minimal texture from the sandblasting. The paintings of imagined Silurian underwater life were paired with sandblasted objects with the intention of complicating the viewing experience of the image and to introduce a false acceleration of time to an image which imagines a view of the pre-human landscape.”

– Laura Findlay, 2017






Announcing the 2017 scholarship recipients: Laura Findlay and Caroline Boileau

Painter Laura Findlay (Toronto, ON) will be spending three months in Gotland at the Brucebo summer residency.

Findlay’s primary medium of her practice is painting, but she also work with and exhibits sculpture, photography, and video. Her work addresses fragmented histories and the struggle to examine and relate events from the past. During the Brucebo Gotland Residency she will turn to Gotland’s landscape for inspiration to produce a collection of works in painting on panel, on paper, and on found ceramic, to produce an installation in-situ on the island which uses an accumulation of fragmentary works to explore the island’s ancient and contemporary geologic history. Drawing from the rocks of the island that tell the history of three minor extinctions millions of years ago – the Ireviken, Mulde and Lau events –and unique geological formations like the rauks (rock stacks) the works will echo the weathered present-day geological formations of the islands and an imagined pre-history resulting from the study of local museums and artifacts.

Caroline Boileau (Montreal, QC.) is a multi disciplinary artist who works with installation, drawing, video and performance. She is interested in different ways of living, representing and speaking to notions of the body.

During her research sojourn she aims to undertake four short research residences at the Specola Museum in Florence, Italy; At the Steilneset Memorial in Vardo, Norway;  and in selected museums in Stockholm and Visby in Sweden.

Congratulations to both artists. We look forward to following up on your travels!



2016 W. B. Bruce European Fine Art Scholarship recipient John Player cycled from Germany to Latvia along the eastern edge of the Baltic Sea over the month of June, where he documented remnants of military ruins from Soviet, German and American empires. The relics from these occupations were contrasted in light of new tensions today in the same region, involving NATO and Russian saber rattling. “The slow pace of touring through this flat coastal plain gave me time to consider the past divisions of power and present frontier of the EU and Russia, where disenfranchisement, claim over territory and nationalistic identities are heightened.”

John used his photos from the trip as references for a series of oil paintings completed in the fall of 2016.









Enveloped by the tides and winds of the Baltic Sea, the book Själsö by artist Sara A.Tremblay describes an insular universe marked by the movements of people, animals, and the elements. Taken during an eighty-eight-day sojourn on the island of Gotland in Sweden, the photographs in this book are a record of the everyday, where time makes visible the tranquil forces of nature, and through which ethereal presences pass. Själsö, the host village that lends its name to the book, can be broken down into the words själ (soul) et ö(island) connecting the intangible to the concrete, as though it is the nature of the island to lead us to scrutinize the real for traces of what might not otherwise be seen.

For more info and to purchase:



THE NORTHERN WILDERNESS | words and images from Liz Toohey-Weise

“Over five weeks I traveled through Denmark, Norway, and Sweden researching the Scandinavian Landscape painters that influenced the Group of Seven at the turn of the 20th century. Visiting galleries dotted across these Nordic countries, as well as traveling through more rural and remote areas, I was exposed to paintings and landscapes alike which reminded me of some of the most iconic Group of Seven paintings. In conversing with people on my travels, links between national identity and attachment to landscape became ever more present, linking these two disparate parts of the world together in a shared imagination of Northern wilderness.”








Painter Corri-Lynn Tetz recently exhibited some of her residency works in collaboration with the Brucebo Foundation at the Gocart gallery in Visby. From her statement, the artist writes, “I’m interested in making visual connections between allegorical structures and personal experience. By extension, my current work is centered around manifestations of belief and mystical sensation in secular culture. While these themes spawn from my evangelical childhood, they provide rich abstractions for painting – reinforcing my belief in the medium as both a poetic and theoretical language.” Congratulations Corri-Lynn!




To view more of Corri-Lynn’s work from the Brucebo residency, visit her website

Announcing the 2016 scholarship recipients: Corri-Lynn Tetz and John Player

Painter Corri-Lynn Tetz will be spending three months in Gotland at the Brucebo summer residency. Originally from Alberta, Corri-Lynn Tetz first studied art at Red Deer College and then obtained her undergraduate degree from Emily Carr in Vancouver. Now based in Montreal, she obtained her MFA from Concordia University in 2015.  In her paintings and drawings, she is interested in making visual connections between allegory and personal experience. By extension, her current work is centered around manifestations of belief and mystical sensation in secular contexts. Her intention for the Brucebo residency, is to extend this belief – to focus on Gotland as the subject of a series of paintings and short videos based on the Island’s creation myth, or Gutasaga.

Painter John Player will be travelling to Europe on the W.B. Bruce Travel Scholarship. Originally from Victoria B.C., John earned his MFA from Concordia University in 2014. As a painter working with and commenting on mediated imagery, he often appropriates from mass media, newspapers, and archives found largely on the Internet. His paintings are a depiction and critique of dominant culture’s detached view of the world; his visuals a response to the 24 hour information cycle’s edited current events and briefings. For the Brucebo travel award, John will be undertaking a cross-country bicycle tour of ex-Soviet countries, travelling along the middle section of the Iron curtain trail. Through photography and watercolour sketches, he will create a narrative of preventative architecture and military ruins discovered on his self-paced cycling journey .

Congratulations to both artists. We look forward to seeing your work!

PAINTINGS FROM GOTLAND  | words and images from Jeremy Herndl

“The Brucebo Cottage Residency provided time, space and solitude to immerse myself into work.  While life for Gotlanders proceeded as usual, I floated around and through sites spanning 6000 years of human history and 450 million years of geological history.  I spent my time reading, exploring, painting in the studio and outdoors working over days and well into the bright night.  I felt like painting was a way to talk to the past and the mutable present as I stood like the most recent layer of Gotlands foundation of bones.  I had nothing but time but it wasn’t nearly enough.”

Abject Still Life. Oil on linen. 21.5 x 18_low

Abject Still Life. Oil on linen. 21.5 x 18.

Old Cemetery. Oil on linen. 27.5 x 25.5_low

Old Cemetery. Oil on linen., 27.5 x 25.5.

Själsö Hämn Sunrise and Sunset. Oil on linen.27.5 x 25.5_low

Sjalso Hamn, Sunrise and Sunset. Oil on linen, 27.5 x 25.5.

Painted Stick. Oil on found stick. 22L x 9H x 10D_low

Painted Stick. Oil on found stick. 22L x 9H x 10D

Cave Painting. Oil on linen 28 x 24_low

Cave Painting. Oil on linen, 28 x 24.

More of Jeremy’s work here

Announcing the 2015 Scholarship recipients: Jeremy Herndl and Liz-Toohey Weise

Painter Jeremy Herndl  (Victoria, British Columbia) will be spending three months in Gotland at the Brucebo summer residency.

“I am interested in chronicling a phenomenological experience of space. Painting outdoors has engendered a rigorous conceptual practice of responding to things as their appearance changes over time. Landscape is a human conceit and by way of my attention and rapport with the space, I work in service of its agency. In the current context of speed and information deluge, I render space as it appears over days and weeks and in this way, assert the sovereignty of our attention and time.” – Jeremy Herndl

Liz Toohey-Weise from Halifax, Nova Scotia, is this year’s recipient of the W.B. Bruce European Fine Art Travel Scholarship.

Liz Toohey’s work explores relationships between identity and place. Born and raised in the suburbs of Vancouver, British Columbia, her work seeks to intervene in the broader notion of “landscape” in the cities and the surrounding natural areas she finds herself in.

Congratulations to both artists. We look forward to following up on your travels!



“La clinique alchimique” | March 2 – April 10, 2015

La clinique alchimique acts as a space of trial and experimentation, displaying and documenting an artistic research in connection with alchemy, mythology and the temporality of dreams. Initiated in 2012 during the summer residency in Gotland, this cycle of work examines the act of drawing, the manipulation of video,and various forms of collection and installation. For the exhibition at the Fofa Gallery, La clinique alchimique include artworks that emanate from the residency in Gotland, especially a research around inkblot reading. The inkblot exploration first started during the residency and while realizing the portrait of William Blair Bruce and Caroline Benedicks, the founder of the Brucebo Foundation. The exhibition further explores the presence of the past and of the future through the prism of imagination.







_DSC4007Photo Guy LHeureux

_DSC4834Photo Guy LHeureux

_DSC4840Photo Guy LHeureux

_DSC4854Photo Guy LHeureux

_DSC4866Photo Guy LHeureux

Photo documentation by Guy L’Heureux



“Before History” | February 7th to April 12th, 2015

2011 W.B. Bruce European Fine Art Scholarship recipient Jessica Auer presents “Before History”at the Art Museum of Gotland. Revealing both the documentary and narrative potential of landscape photography, the works in this exhibition trace a westward journey from Sweden to the New World, transporting the viewer back to a time before photography, and before the development of a written language.







PICTURES FROM NORDIC EUROPE | words and images by Jim Holyoak

2014 W.B. Bruce European Fine Art Scholarship recipient Jim Holyoak travelled and hiked throughout Norway, Sweden and Iceland to see and draw the strangest and most spectacular landforms that he could find throughout Nordic Europe.

“I had some time alone with my thoughts. I thought about how time is different when you don’t have a watch, and the sun doesn’t set. I thought about how being alone can heighten one’s senses of perception and attention. As I drew from observation, I thought about working under different conditions: distracted or focused, stressed or relaxed. I thought about wandering: the varied speed and time, about wanderlust – casual restlessness.”





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January 12th-February 20th, 2015

Vernissage: 15 janvier 2015, 5pm-7pm

FOFA Gallery, 1515 Ste Catherine Street West. Montreal, QC.

88 days in Själsö stems from Sara A.Tremblay’s summer residency at the Brucebo Fine Art Foundation in Gotland, Sweden (2013). During her stay, the artist observed and compiled records of pre-existing forms and imprints found within the surrounding natural landscape: those created by wind, tides, seasons, animals and humans. The photos, videos and sculptures included in the installation 88 days in Själsö document the artist’s process as she, inspired by what she had found, left her own traces on the land.


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all images by Sara A. Tremblay