Isobel Finlay

Untitled (Soft Series)

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Year 2020
Medium Watercolour on paper
Dimensions 21.1 x 28.9 cm

About the work

This drawing is part of a series using unfinished projects as its starting point. A lot of my sculptures in my studio are unfinished, living just as hanging pieces of fabric lounging on the wall ready to become something else. Sometimes I feel like wrapping myself up in the knitted fabric, feeling supported and hopeful in their potential. This feeling is intensified now that I cannot access my studio in this new lockdown and the future is pushed further away. This series began in the studio but has now been continued in my home on my kitchen table, like love letters to the sculptures I can’t see anymore, hidden in a room I can’t access.

About the artist:

Born 1996, Isobel Finlay lives and works in London. Graduated from BA (Hons) Drawing, Camberwell College of Arts (2019).

Up then down. Left to right. Again and again and again. Memories buried in muscles, twitches of fingers mimicking the ghosts that have gone before. Memories held in the making, the future tumbling from needles that press into the past. Twisted, taut, trembling – the skin of my cloth supporting the things that have come before. 

I am interested in how craft skills reflect the body’s natural rhythms, and how these rhythms can be distorted by modern living and materials. I view the process of creating fabric sculptures which are then transformed using plaster, metal, wax or latex as an almost modern magical transformation, as parts of myself I am manipulating using non-organic, modern materials. I offer myself to the world, and it changes and distorts me.

Selected exhibitions include Brody Chipchase and Isobel Finlay, Chelsea Space, London (2020); My House is an Island, Arthousehaus, London (2020); 1001 Sunsets and 1 Eclipse, King’s Arch Gallery, Brighton (2020); Clyde & Co. Art Award 2019/2020, St Boltoph Building, London (2019/2020); Business As Usual: How the 1% Remain Blind to the 6th Mass Extinction, Dean Clough Gallery, Halifax (2020); Tactile, Deptford Does Art, London (2020); Camberwell Degree Show, Camberwell College of Arts, London (2019); TBC, Copeland Gallery Peckham, London (2019); and Over Capacity, Southwark Park Galleries, London (2018).

Awards include receiving the Vanguard Court Studio Prize, and being shortlisted for the Clyde & Co Art Award (2019/2020).

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Something swimming in my blood

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Tea Towel Drawing (Red/Black)

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