About

Shelby Tay is a lifelong learner with an enduring love for photography, storytelling and home-cooked meals. Her interests have led her to work with passionate and talented people in grassroots and online organizing, healthcare, creative media, youth leadership and more recently engineering. From wily cooking crews to quiet boardrooms, she has been researching and experimenting with community engagement strategies for the past ten years. She is grateful for the opportunity to be exploring arts-based methodologies that enable us to build resilience and reimagine possibility.

As a photographer, her work explores themes of resilience and rootedness. With a background in ecology, she is often drawn to the curiosities and contradictions inherent in spaces where one dominant system edges into another and the life that thrives in these in-betweens.

These pages make up a personal documentation project exploring what it means to make a living while making a life.

Contact // Visual Timeline


Current Project

If We Were the Sea is a photo-based installation exploring the environment aboard a hundred-thousand-ton freighter and the experiences of its crew as they make their passage across invisible time zones, navigating the demands between camaraderie and interdependence, expansiveness and isolation.

Inside a familiar piece of Vancouver’s identity as a major port city, If We Were the Sea asks us to reflect on our own resilience, what ultimately sustains us, and how we navigate the hidden dependencies in our changing environment.

View Gallery

April 1-30, 2018 (extended to May 10th)
(24/7 Window, F: 12-5pm) 
320 Carrall St, Vancouver, BC
49° 16' 55'' N 123° 6' 16'' W 
Unceded xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) & səl̓il̓wətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Territories

Using Format