Andrea Spalding – artist, author


Artist Statement:   Books have always been my retreat and foundation. As a child, living in an uncomfortable inner-city environment, I escaped into the pages of hundreds of library books whenever I had a spare moment. They became the foundation of knowledge, my window on new worlds, and told stories that fed my imagination. I thought books were forever items. If you were lucky enough to own a few favorites, you kept them on a special shelf, and they moved with you to be read over and over again.  

Along came Covid.  I hunkered down and escaped again, reread my favorites and devoured new books of all genres. They grounded me, offered windows into the past, and took me travelling beyond my isolation. But in the digital age - out goes the physical form of books. I was devastated to see books being stuffed into collection boxes, and truckloads going to the dump. That’s when I decided to change my art practice to include rescued books, discards that spoke to me.  I worked on giving them new life in the form of Book Art sculptures that release their inner spirits. This then led me to explore many new forms of ‘the book’ itself.   

Artist Bio:   Born in England, Andrea Spalding has spent her adult life in Canada, and has called Pender Island home for 30 years. The beautiful landscape and artistic atmosphere of the Southern Gulf Islands has fostered her creativity, both as an award-winning writer of over 30 books, and as a mixed media artist. 

She draws much of her inspiration from being surrounded with books and inspired by story. The resulting body of Book Art has been exhibited throughout the Gulf Islands and on Vancouver Island and led to invitations to participate in international exhibitions in the UK and Argentina. Her work is found in private collections across Canada, in the UK, USA and Argentina. Andrea is married to David Spalding. They have three children, 8 grandchildren, and 2 great-grandchildren.    

Brief CV   Andrea Spalding – Author / Mixed Media Artist Born UK 1944

Thornbridge Hall Teacher Training College UK 1963 – 66 (Art/Music) Professional writer for 40 years

Returned to full time Art Practice in 2013.  

Annual art shows at Sea Star Winery (15-30 new works each year)    

2014 Split/Personality   One-woman show: Andrea Spalding  

2015 Myth, Magic, and Music with Dana McConchie  

2016 Reconsidered with Eric Lesage, Joseph Montague  

2017 Portals with Eric Lesage, Joseph Montague  

2018 Facets with Joseph Montague, Annie Smith  

2019 Behind the Seen with Joseph Montague, Annie Smith  

2014-2019- Annual ‘Art in The Orchard Collective' Pender Island  

2015- Travelling Solo Show, ‘The Secret Life of Books ‘– 15 pieces of Book Art. Displayed in libraries on Salt spring, Pender, Mayne and Galiano and Victoria Main Library on Broughton St.  

2015- Artist in residence. Victoria Library Broughton St.  

2018- present day- Ptarmigan Gallery Pender Island   2014 – 2018- Talisman Books and Gallery Pender Island  

Special Exhibits:   

2015- ‘Hana’s Suitcase’ accepted for ‘Displaced’ a summer long exhibit at The International Holocaust Library, London, UK  

2021- ‘Driftwood Journals’ accepted for ‘Off the Wall: Re-Defining the Map’ CBBAG (Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild). Duncan BC.   

Andrea has also produced many art works on commission.