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Collection: Gray's School of Art Fine Art Collection
Object Type: sculpture
Artist/Maker: McLeish, Isabel
Place Made: Gray's School of Art
Date: 2019
Media/Materials: stoneware
Awards: RGU Contemporary Art Practice Purchase Award
Classification: Contemporary Art Practice


Having grown up in the rural North-West Highlands of Scotland, I am inspired by wild places and the natural world. Globally, there is a need to find natural climate solutions and restore forests in order to prevent further climate and ecological breakdown. My work explores how people can reconnect with the land through art and I choose to use natural or recycled materials that have low environmental impact.
My current practice considers the relationship between the human body and trees, specifically how they both breathe. Through the creation of physical and tangible artworks and by utilising natural textures and forms, I hope to encourage the viewer to reflect on their own bodily connection to the land. My work is created through elemental processes that use earth, fire, air and water and suggest an immediacy and directness through the methods of making. The choice of clay as a material aims to suggest the fragility and delicacy yet also resilience and strength that is present in the natural world. Clay casts are taken from both living and dead trunks and limbs and I see these clay sculptures acting as fossilised trees, reflecting the broader birth, life and death cycles intrinsic to the planet. stoneware cast of a Beech tree trunk

Object Number: ABDRG2019.23