About the Artist: Isabella Edwards
Dharug and Barkinung Country, NSW
“Imagine the stories this place could tell” is a common phrase heard from visitors. Any new place encourages speculation and projection of our own memories. In turn place acts as the backdrop for the experiences that become memory. In our recollections the experience and the place become inseparable. Landscape is particularly important because it’s an integral part of everyone’s lives. The Royal Botanic Garden is one of these places as its being in the heart of Sydney makes it central to much human experience. If you’ve been to Sydney, chances are you have special or even formative memories set in the gardens. For myself I remember being in high school and sitting in the Botanic Gardens. I was drawing in my first art diary just purchased from the Art Gallery of NSW shop. This was the beginning of my practice of always having an ongoing sketchbook. In my ceramic vessels and tiles, I want to investigate these intrinsic links between place and memory. Ceramics provides a beautiful medium for this exploration as clay has its own “memory,” during firing it will often try to take on its previous shapes. The hand painted imagery on the surface comes from my interpretation of photos I take of the everyday. Photography is objective, memory however is not, and each person has a seemingly random way of attributing value. I like to reflect this in my painting by focusing on what strikes a chord in my memory such as afternoon light or a chair out of place. These images build a narrative which is held within the vessel, this form harks back to ceramics utilitarian origins of storage and food preservation. A vessel is made to hold something, these works hold space for both my own experience as well as those of the audience.
Isabella will have more work available at our in person exhibition in March 2022.