Isobel Church works conceptually across a range of disciplines, including installation, ceramics, found objects, embroidery and paper casting. Landings presents a multi-disciplinary collection of works concerned with the hypnotic aspects of discovery, most of them specifically made for this exhibition. Church is interested in how an object can bring the unfathomably large or ancient into the realm of the intimate and familiar, creating tactile connections with that which is vast, distant or ineffable.
Thus, Messengers (2020) consists of a vintage parachute embroidered with excerpts from eyewitness accounts of meteor landings as far apart in time and space as China in 1064, North America in the 18th century and Russia in 2013. The Vanishing Act (2020), a 2.5m tall watermarked paper installation on a steel structure in the form of an archway, shows the Canadian Nunavut waterways. Summit (2020) consists of five Edwardian chairs facing each other in a circle, each chair with a detailed miniature mountain cast in jesmonite in the seat. The chairs take on an anthropomorphic quality, as if gathering for a discussion of global affairs; a Gaia-esque personification of ancient massifs taking matters into their own hands. Suspended on a tall tripod, Scribe (2020), a black clay peaked form is impressed with small numerals that follow its contours. The continuous repetitive inscription charts the coordinates of some of the earliest ice core samples, forming a fragmentary archive of these historic cylinders.
Looking at humanity’s complex and symbolic relationship to natural phenomena and the unseen, Church’s work can be read as fictitious ceremonial works, linking material and immaterial worlds