Mysticism and occultism form the backbone of my work. This is a new religion- a new creation myth- relevant to the modern era, facilitated by the aquatic baptism of old ideas and motifs. Our environment is invisible to us; living in cities, we are removed from the realities of wolves, lakes and trees. Physics decrees that there are parts of the universe that will forever remain hidden to the observer. Divinity, like the granular nature of space-time on the miniscule Planck scale, is concealed from our perception by necessity. The division between the viewer and the work mirrors this separation of mankind and the true, the utopian and and the non-self.
The use of cliffs, rivers and canyons evokes reverence for the mystery of nature at its most raw. The use of animals is also important. Snakes- the original dividers of heaven and earth- frequently appear. Cat-Eyed-Boy antagonizes his fellow creatures. Winged serpents act as godly agents, and cormorants, sacred for their acts of self-baptism,
populate the shores. Half-human creatures represent a coalescence of the holy and the unholy, the sacred and the human. These characters play out their narrative in inhospitable environments beyond the reach of human inspection- outer space, the deep sea, the underground. Their formation as living, breathing entities develops in a place beyond our influence, giving them a chance to create a new world separate from the failures of the old one.
Watercolour as a medium reinforces the baptismal aspect of these works- the scenes and figures depicted are quite literally bathed in water. Stream-of-consciousness drawings grant each piece the peculiarity and innocence of an alien world in its infancy, free of the human confines of form and perspective. Nothing is planned, and the permanence of ink frames each mistake forever, allowing the pieces to grow on their own terms.
A love of research and learning also contributes to my artistic practice. Through my work, I attempt to unify artistic and scientific research by incorporating concepts drawn from the fields of physics and cosmology. Meaning is as important to my work as technique and aesthetic, and I am constantly refining my ideas and incorporating new elements from my continuing research.
Isabel Beach , 17 yrs
Etobicoke School of the Arts