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Gill Houlsby

Gill is an ‘all-weather’ visual artist exploring relationships between people and place, humans and nature. Her commitment and passion to explore environmental and social issues strongly motivates the themes depicted in her work. She is also a qualified Art Therapist, which brings a different perspective to her creative practice as a professional artist.  


In her work, Gill thoughtfully combines her artistic talent, experience as an Art Therapist and a drive to ‘work like it matters’. The environmental and social impact of each piece is considered carefully as she continues to explore her singular style as an intersectional Environmental & Social Activist Artist. She intends to keep the conversation alive about the important issues of our time.


Her work is simply and unapologetically understated, stark and real.  It is prompted by a want to notice, discover and learn.  It aims to bring into consciousness, questions about how we see people, communities, landscapes and the impact that our presence and perceptions have on them. An antidote to unrealistic hype and over sensationalism, it captures what is around us that is already there, but perhaps sometimes overlooked. Gill considers her art as a slow but persistent series of social actions, encouraging curiosity and reflection.


Whether developing paintings, working with found materials or capturing photographic images, Gill purposefully incorporates the infamous Scottish weather in her process. She also likes to play with the contrasts of human and natural as she believes addressing the human-nature split is the key to a sustainable future.



‘Passing Places’ is a body of work inspired by the iconic Passing Place sign, a familiar sight across many parts of rural Scotland. Gill explores how we relate to the people and places we pass. These images beautifully express the concept that it is impossible to be on your own journey without having an impact on the journey of others – inexorable interconnectedness. This work was shown in November 2020 as part of a joint exhibition ‘Passing Places’, at the National Trust of Scotland Steadings Gallery, Balmacara Estate, set in the Highlands overlooking 3 miles of water to the Isle of Skye.


Gill also loves to play with street art and has developed a body of work for installation at Surge Festival, Glasgow and Spraoi Festival, Dublin festivals this summer. This is a series of signs exploring our relationship with trees and the natural world. Again, considering ‘sign blindness’  and what it is we notice and overlook  about the signs of how this relationship is going.




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Work by this artisan

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