Isabella Walsh is a multidisciplinary artist with a background as an archaeologist. Isabella graduated from Limerick School of Art and Design in 2013 with a 1.1 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. Isabella is Co-Director of Occupy Space, formerly an artist led gallery space which has evolved into an international artist collective. Her practice is currently based out of Contact Studios, Limerick.
Much of her work involves storytelling often incorporating philosophical ideas of time, place and identity through printmaking, photography, sculpture and one-off artist books. Isabella works both in collaboration and alone. Recent 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. Both of these projects are currently in development.
Isabella recently completed a self directed residency in the USA where she drove solo from Los Angeles to Seattle observing the diminished habitat of Nereocystis luetkeana, a species of kelp which once formed an almost solid belt from Santa Cruz to Alaska. She documented her findings through photography and drawing. In Seattle Isabella was hosted by Occupy Space – Seattle where she exhibited as part of the group and provided mentorship to the founder in strategies for further developing the fledgling organisation.
Alongside her artistic practice Isabella makes bespoke handmade books (Books by Bella) and teaches workshops such as bookbinding (LSAD), make your own pinhole camera (Limerick Printmakers) and silver jewellery making (with Forgotten Silver at Electric Picnic, Body and Soul). Additionally she is part of the Arba Minch Art Project, a team of Irish artists delivering art education programmes in drawing, painting and ceramics in Arba Minch Prison, Southern Ethiopia (2015/2016).