Art Island: Perspectives from a Creative Community

“This 10-episode docu-series looks into the personal lives and artistic perspectives of local artists — our community members. Expanding on how they became artists, what inspires their art, challenges they’ve encountered, and how they persevered, Art Island is a deep dive into why artists feel art is important and how it has the power to affect us all.”

Alina Milek - Art Island

Art Island: Episode 1 Alina Milek – Flower Farmer, Florist, & Jeweller

Step into the garden and studio of florist, jeweller and flower farmer Alina Milek, whose flower growing and arranging practice is, foremost, about sharing natural beauty with both neighbours and visitors to Hornby Island. Through designing flower arrangements, Alina found her connection to making and artistic practice. She also shares her fine jewellery work, which serves as a more “permanent” balance to her impermanent flower designs.

Tom Burrows - Art Island

Art Island: Episode 2 Tom Burrows – Sculptor

In Episode 2 of Art Island, we meet artist Tom Burrows in his handmade Downes Point home. Tom’s practice – which over 50 years has encompassed poly-resin colour fields, abstract sculpture, and designing and building unconventional dwellings – has become canon in Canadian art. He shares insights into his storied career and the legacy of 1970’s counterculture on both his own work and society today.

Moragh Eilish Art Island

Art Island: Episode 3 Moragh Eilish – Mixed Media Artist – In Episode 3 of Art Island, we meet Moragh Eilish at her Hornby Island homestead. Working in drawing, painting, and as a tattoo artist, Moragh shares how her creative upbringing, engagement in artistic countercultures and the inspiration of alternative living models have led to a life of artistic pursuit and community-seeking through her practice.

Art Island: Episode 4 Michelle Nyberg – Painter – In Episode 4 of ART ISLAND, Zsofin Sheehy joins painter Michelle Nyberg in a few of her favourite places around the island– her outdoor studio, the Sandpiper shoreline, and the Hornby Community Hall. In parallel, we are taken on a journey through Michelle’s creative career, one in which she has honed her creative process of absorbing the beautiful details of the world and translating them into paintings characterized by striking movement, colour and whimsy. Michelle credits much of her artistic development to living on Hornby Island, which has opened up opportunities for her to immerse herself in nature, tune into her intuition, and connect with a wide variety of viewers and appreciators through her work.

I’m excited to share with ya’all about this amazing project I’ve been working on as Assistant Director for the Art Island documentary series. Hornby Arts, Zsofin Sheehy, and I teamed up to dive into & document the heart of the art scene here on Hornby Island. Our mission? To explore “the why of making art”. And let me tell you, it was more than just a project. It was a chance to really connect with the community, to hear their stories, and to share these stories with the world.

On set of Art Island in the studio of Gordon Payne with Liam and Zsofin.

We shot the series with a real appreciation for the natural beauty of the island. We wanted to capture the simplicity, the comfort, the realness of the artists’ surroundings. As a photographer, I was stoked to contribute to this visual narrative, creating a style that was as beautiful as it was real. Throughout the process, I found myself deep in the narrative of each episode. It was a balancing act of technical skill and emotional sensitivity. Each artist had a unique story to tell, and it was our job to make sure their voices were heard.

Operating 2 cameras on the set of Art Island on Hornby Island.

The whole project has been incredibly rewarding. I got to connect with the artists on a personal level, really understanding their work and what drives them. It was a powerful reminder of the importance of community, connection, and the transformative power of art.

On set of Art Island in the studio of Alina Milek with project Director Zsofin Sheehy.

Now, the Art Island documentary series is up on YouTube. It’s a testament to the talent and dedication of everyone involved. It’s a celebration of the unique art scene on Hornby Island, and I’m so proud to have been a part of it. Special thanks to Zsofin and Emma at Hornby Arts. I hope that peeps around the world will be as inspired by these artists and their stories as I was.


Director & Cinematographer – Zsofin Sheehy
Associate Producer – Emma Walter
Assistant Director – Kris Krüg
Location Sound – Dr. Andrew Mark
Location Sound – Liam Wheatley
Sound Mix & Design – Nick Kold
Title Animation – Grigorii Kniagnitskii
Colour – Bogdan Mykytenko

Funding for the ART ISLAND documentaries is provided by the Canada Council for the Arts, BC Arts Council, and the Province of British Columbia.

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