Chats with Selected Artist Isabella Widger

Artist Name: Isabella Widger

Question 1: How did you get to where you are now?

Initially I studied French at university before transferring to Fine Art at Glasgow School of Art but I think this background in the study of language has informed much of my work. Since graduating in 2014 I have been involved in several exhibitions and collaborative projects including the RSA New Contemporaries, Everything Sensor at the Glasgow Project Room and A Chair for Oranges at Mono in Glasgow as well as a residency at the Pratt Institute, New York.

Question 2: What is your thought process and/or the material process behind your work?

Central to my practice is an interest in how form evinces specific cultural attitudes or phenomena. I co-opt and overlap the forms of particular aesthetic movements, exploring what these reveal about contemporary ideals. Often resulting in work that involves an internalised, and therefore collapsible, aesthetic code; a kind of extended monogram, at once individualistic and totally generic, I explore how this attempt at personalisation reflects systems of consumption, whose proffering of the opportunity to exercise subject choice in fact signals a profoundly impersonal performance of object relations. Deeply concerned with object relations codified by the logic of fashion and commodification, I aim to explore desirability and luxury as functions in themselves. I initiate posturing attempts at elegance and refinement whilst tacitly embracing clumsiness, awkwardness and gaucherie as evidenced in a precariousness of structure; a flimsy, fragile address to utility which gestures towards its disruption. I identify this with the potential fundamentality of material experience, and of a Benjaminian understanding of ‘tactile instinct’ and ‘authentic experience’.

Question 3: Have you ever gotten halfway through with a project or idea and changed direction and why?

Certainly. Although I find planning helpful and I am quite meticulous in some ways, it can be stifling to cling too much to a prescribed vision. I try to balance the specific idea with an openness to the transformative process of the actual, material realisation of that idea.

From 27 May – 4 June 2016 Hidden Door will return to the amazing disused street lighting depot behind Kings Stables Road in Edinburgh. Click here for ticket info