Currently from Hawera, Taranaki, Isla approaches her art practice with a very empathetic mindset. Here she talks about her materials, her making, her thoughts and her feelings:
I am an artist living in Aotearoa New Zealand. Raised by the Baltic Sea and adopted by the Southern Ocean, I feel deeply at home in the natural world.
Currently I co-create with muka, the inner fibre of harakeke. My intuitive process starts with individual plants I regard as personalities.
Each of my artworks is rooted in the natural world. Natural fibres and colours from the land are my medium. Growing, gathering and processing these living things with attention, respect and love are at the heart of my practice.
I have a passion for the twirling act of hand spinning. When I spin I feel connected to something bigger than me. I’m in the flow – free to play with ideas and techniques. The resulting innovative yarns are the building blocks of my multilayered fibre pieces.
It is important to me to take time for my explorations. Time to engage with every moment – to observe, feel, listen… to come home to the world via my senses. Time to feel the connection with Papatūānuku / Mother Earth and all beings coming from her. Time to practice reciprocity, connection and oneness.
I like to call this slow process time-receiving versus time-consuming.
It is a journey into magical realms and the unknown. It’s the reason why I feel driven to create art.
My current work emerges from an intimate dialogue with muka*. I’m particularly interested in Māori and Polynesian wisdom, the similarities between indigenous practices all over the world and how they relate to my own Baltic Sea heritage.
This is an ongoing exploration of connection to place, the nature of interbeing*, and where we belong beyond human society.
* muka is the inner fibre of harakeke. Harakeke is also known as Phormium tenax or New Zealand Flax.
* interbeing is a word coined by Thich Nhat Hanh, meaning nothing can exist without everything else in the cosmos.
Here is Isla’s background statement about her work in Dreaming of the Future – SDA Exhibition:
Forest in A Tear Drop
Sometimes I dream about a future where there is no struggle, no fear, no pain. But that world would also be without unfolding, no moon in the night sky and no decaying matter to nurture a tree.
Rather than dreaming I want to flow with it all, in the here and now. I want to stay awake for the abundance of each moment.
Isn‘t it this present moment where future lies? Where humans wake up from the dream of separation. Where there is only one time: pastpresentfuture.
Sometimes I dream.
More images and details of the Forest In a Tear Drop are on the gallery web shop now. If you want any extra images or information please contact the gallery.