Isabella Walsh is a multidisciplinary artist from Co.Limerick, Ireland with a background as an archaeologist. Isabella graduated from Limerick School of Art and Design with degree in Printmaking and Contemporary Practice. She received a bursary membership from Limerick Printmakers for her degree work and has remained an active member of the printmaking community. Her practice is currently based out of Spacecraft Artist Studios, Limerick and she is a member of Contact Studios.
She exhibits frequently in group shows nationally (eg Network Contact, Gallery Interlude, 2018; Limerick Printmakers Winter Members Show, 2017; That was then, this is now, Contact Studios at Friars Gate 2017; Nasty Women, Dublin at Pallas Projects 2017) and internationally (IMPACT 10, Santander, Spain; IMPACT 9, Hangzhao, China; The Devonshire Collective, Eastbourne, UK; Occupy Space – Seattle, USA).
Isabella held her first solo exhibition ‘Who put Bella in the Wych Elm’ at Limerick City Gallery of Art in 2017 curated by Úna McCarthy. It was supported by a bursary from Limerick City and County Council. In 2018 she exhibited the project ‘Transmitter/Receiver [I caught your radio waves]’ with Gallery Interlude at Lucky Lane, Limerick.
Much of her work involves storytelling often incorporating philosophical ideas of time, place and identity through drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, sculpture and one-off artist books. Isabella works both in collaboration and alone. Collaborations include a public project ‘From print to postcard – Limericks Ghost Stories’ (2015) with Pamela Dunne to create an archive of contemporary folklore. They have been awarded a bursary from Locating the Gothic to facilitate publication.
‘Who put Bella in the Wych Elm?’ is a solo project based on a cold case. Isabella purchased the archival case files the unsolved murder in which an unidentified woman’s skeleton was discovered inside a hollow tree near Birmingham in 1943.
Transmitter/Receiver is a solo project based on her daily observations of a landscape, documented through drawing, painting and photography. A series of intaglio prints are currently in production.
She has participated in several boxsets of prints with Limerick Printmakers including Plan A/B and Encounter, both of which consisted of two editions and one collaborative print. Most recently two editions of prints have been created for the Limerick Printmakers 20th Anniversary Exhibition, 2019.
Isabella is part of the Gallery Interlude team a project initiated and led by Carl Doran. It is a pop up commercial art gallery, a collaboration between Contact Studios, Lucky Lane, The Glen Tavern and the Bigger Picture Framing Company.
Alongside her artistic practice Isabella works as a model maker (Nightflyers, 2017/2018), a gallery technician (eg Limerick City Gallery of Art; EVA International) and makes bespoke handmade books (Books by Bella). She was formerly a Co-Director of Occupy Space and Studio Technician at Limerick Printmakers. Isabella worked as a commercial archaeologist in the greater Dublin area from 2002 – 2007.
She has devised and taught workshops such as bookbinding (Limerick School of Art and Design), make your own pinhole camera (Limerick Printmakers), observational drawing (Limerick Printmakers) and silver jewellery making (with Forgotten Silver at Electric Picnic, Body and Soul). Isabella was also part of the Arba Minch Art Project, a team of Irish artists who delivered art education programmes in drawing, painting and ceramics in Arba Minch Prison, Southern Ethiopia (2015/2016).