Biography

Born in Newtown, mid Wales; trained as a teacher and then graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University in Fine Art, (Printmaking). Now work from my studio in the award-winning Yorkshire ArtSpace in Sheffield.

Information

I work mainly with etching and embossing, either singly or in combination. I enjoy working within the tradition of fine art printmaking, the sense of continuance in working in a contemporary, minimalist way, with a shape originally inspired by the cosmos, and in the case of embossing, what is left unstated.

I have been intrigued by the circle, as a concept, for some time. It is a universal symbol with so many meanings, and it is the paradox of complex associated ideas, expressed in such a simple form, which inspires me. Enclosure, infinity, a window, a pathway, wholeness, universal symbol, the self, and the essence of nature are the most meaningful associations for me.

The circle just seems to express everything I want to say, so that I feel each of my prints is a little piece of me. I identify with Merleau Ponty, who said that we can fill in the rest of the world, but there is always a space, which is the self. For me, the circle fills in that space. I see most of my work as a self-portrait; some of my circles say 'this is me, this is how I'm feeling'. Others symbolise my journey, the adventure that life is.

I am inspired by the history of the circle - the thought that the circle has appealed to mankind all over the world, from earliest times, and motivated him to symbolise, illustrate or decorate. I believe the circle speaks of our common experience in gazing at the night sky, and what that experience came to mean, and that it holds some of that mystery and sense of wonder. This is also bound up with the idea that the circle is the essence of nature, which I express in my use of earth and sky colours, and I represent the complexity by layering 2, 3, or sometimes 4 etching plates.

It has been used by many artists throughout the history of art: as a means of organising composition, as a geometric shape by some, and as an abstract one by others, sometimes intellectually, sometimes intuitively, emotionally. My influences in the art world are those who are concerned with the natural environment, and I particularly admire the work of James Turrell and Richard Long, who convey, to me, their sense of wonder.

My circles symbolise my sense of wonder at the natural world, and my place in it.

© Isobel Walker 2006 - 2017

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