Shams grew up between Montreal and Tunisia, speaks five languages, and has backpacked extensively throughout five continents. This could explain her fascination with how people make a place feel like home. Her artistic practice and research interests are grounded in connection: how people form a community, connect to themselves, each other, and where they are. This generally means learning a couple of different languages at the same time but letting silence speak the loudest, harvesting colours from her environment to make inks, and listening to what the linden tree has to say.
As part of the Young Explorers program, Shams will be harvesting roots, industrial waste, and food scraps on board the ship and at stop points in Greenland and Nunavut to create watercolours with a strong sense of place. She’ll be painting what she sees, with colours from where she is.
She works during the summer as a sea kayak guide with Outward Bound and currently calls the north home. In Whitehorse, you can find her in her spare time building a new shelf, upcycling inner bike tires into pencil cases, or looking at clouds.