'Covid-19 Response' Artist Feature, CuratorSpace, 01st June 2020

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CuratorSpace are currently featuring articles by artists, curators and organisations who want to share their experiences of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, whether that is artists using their practice as a way of exploring new boundaries of isolation, or as a way to connect more broadly with their communities.


Lisa Traxler: Isolation Sculptures

Lisa Traxler works across a range of media, including painting and sculpture, to address her ongoing fascination with defence architecture and materiality. This exploration into defence heritage reflects an autobiographical history based on a decommissioned radar bunker near her home on the Isle of Wight.


"Embracing two and three dimensional form and scale, my studio is the base for designing and painting maquettes, while the large sculptures utilise factory processes. I work with enamelled steel, collaged paper and resin paper composite to construct and configure forms. Influences from my fashion background emerge from the use of these pattern pieces.

After I received news that my Arts Council England funding bid for a two-person exhibition in the West Gallery at Quay Arts, Isle of Wight had been successful. I began creating work. My plan was to work with A.J. Wells industrial factory on the island to produce a large scale vitreous enamelled wall sculpture. However, this all came to an abrupt halt when lockdown was announced. I had to completely rethink my process, but fortunately I still had access to my studio so was able to begin creating my 'Isolation Sculptures'.

The 'Isolation Sculptures' exist from the quarantine imposed on us during the pandemic. Repurposing studio finds led to utilising printed card of original paintings I had stored in the studio - A deconstruction of past and an assembling of present. This configuration of shaped pieces employs the defence architecture forms I had been evolving before the lockdown. The Isolation Sculptures are very particular to this moment in history and a unique articulation on the current situation from my perspective in the studio. I had to use what I had available - the sculptures are created from a small number of card pieces that slot together to form the sculpture.

They also reference pattern pieces from my fashion design background, and the repetitive nature of cutting each shape has been cathartic and helped guide me through each studio day whilst this unknown situation continues. From the 'Isolation sculptures' evolved the 'Safety Net' series - pared back, small collage paintings referencing outline and space. 2D to 3D inform each other, working back and forth to create these small thoughtful artworks.

These lockdown pieces have given me a sense of purpose whilst also creating a small income. This has made me feel less helpless and more in control. I have been very active in marketing the work, emailing my client list and joining in with Mathew Burrows #artistsupportpledge on Instagram. The response from collectors has been amazing and created a real community spirit, helped by the fact the sculptures are created as flat pack for ease of postage."

You can find out more about, and purchase 'Isolation Sculptures' and 'Safety Net' collage paintings on Lisa's Instagram.