Isabela is originally from Brazil but has a permanent residence in London. She travels between UK and Brazil, keeping in touch with her native culture, which plays an important part in her work.
For Isabela, the work of art is intimately imbricated with the body. Her paintings explore the process of motor sensorial automatism in her work, foregrounding the subjective and inter-objective experience, for both artist and viewer.
Her paintings are transient recordings of the perceptive body and mind. The marks reveal the convergence of the subconscious mind with the interactive body, allowing the creative process to happen within a specific space and moment in time. In her paintings, she is working her way through the intersections of consciousness and the subconscious mind.
To achieve this, she builds painting tools that function as body extensions or prosthetics. The tools allow the gesture to be minimal, and necessitate repetitive gestures that uncover, on the painting surface, what the artist describes as ‘landscapes of the mind’. The process, body and prosthetic facilitate an unravelling of the subconscious, through automatism.
The painting tools are accessories devised to create lines that overlap with textures and undulations. Some tools contain references to childhood memories, others to her identity as a woman. Others do not function to paint with but act to enable or disable the possibilities of the body.
“I am exploring suggestions of spaces that are extensions (or corruptions) of the body and the mind.”
Alongside painting, Isabela’s work explores the performative body through digital automation. Many of these works are records of small, improvised performances composed between her and immediate surroundings and documented intimately by herself. In these works, she explores myth, fantasy, and stories of her life, sometimes drawing on cultural traditions of Brazilian heritage. Some of the photos embody characters that are dormant in her subconscious.
The photographs are mostly done when she is in Brazil, where the natural landscape is evocative, especially during the summertime, providing a place for contemplation and rebirth of the work. She started to photography herself in 2012, while in Brazil for a long period of time after being away from her painting studio, and from then on has continued to use her time in Brazil to work with photography. The photos are improvisations, momentary expressions of her body in relation to the environment.
Across her artistic output, Isabela strives to recreate the self, to locate the absent ‘she’.