#WeAreRydeArts Artist Profile, July 2020

  • Lisa Traxler
Lisa Traxler

Portrait: Julian Winslow + Steve Blamire

Screen Shot 2020 07 29 at 22.26.19

forest seasons



'We are a local Arts organisation striving to grow cultural activity, strengthen cultural networks and support creative professionals within the town of Ryde, Isle of Wight. We work with creative people across all artistic genres and partner with a wide range of local businesses and organisations to ensure we have a broad reach.

Each year we produce a major creative project for Ryde, commissioning emerging artists to create new work.'

'Land Mark Trees' Artist Profile: Lisa Traxler


Portrait image taken by Julian Winslow and Steve Blamire

I was thrilled to be invited to be the lead artist on the major project, Landmark Trees, for Ryde Arts Festival 2014. Located in St. Thomas’ Heritage Centre, a deconsecrated church in the centre of Ryde, the huge art installation filled this amazing site as the centre of the festival's programme.

Landmark Trees was a vibrant, creative and exciting project

Landmark Trees focused on the centenary of WW1, and consisted of a mixed media forest within St.Thomas’s symbolising volunteers from Ryde during 1914 and 'memory ribbons’ festooned throughout the churchyard. An orchestral composition, Seasons of a Soldier, by Tom Courtney and Florence Wenden defined the ambience of the event. The four movements of the musical composition depicted the four seasons of the year 1914 and provided a snapshot of a soldier’s life from the optimistic build up to war through to the desolation of the winter as the troops realised the war would not be won by Christmas as first predicted. The composers worked alongside members of the IW Symphony Orchestra, IW Youth Choir and the Ryde Sea Cadets, utilising their bands to incorporate military marches. The art installation echoed this concept with the viewer being led first into the forest during spring with the new buds and light upbeat colours signifying hope. As the season progressed a heavy camouflaged canopy of leaves denoted the onset of summer. Autumn brings the realisation that all will not end so quickly as the leaves turn to the red of battle and foliage is scattered on the ground. The final set of panels, winter, holds a cold stillness, the forest is desolate, empty and anguished…

Landmark Trees was a vibrant, creative and exciting project and I would like to say a special thank you to Carol Jaye who was the strength and power behind the Ryde Arts Festival. A lasting memory of this project was the Foyer residents standing in the centre of the absolutely packed to the rafters opening evening, watching their faces as they stood huddled together mesmerised by the music, art, crowds and vibrancy all around them and a little voice rang out, 'I can’t believe we did this’ - absolutely priceless, my heart skipped a beat! Creativity creates life moments.

Forthcoming exhibitions:

‘Unlocked’ Binnel + Bunker, 29-31 Aug 2020. Joint Summer Exhibition over two sites in St. Lawrence, Binnel Studios and Bunker Gallery Exhibitions for 2021: Arts Council England ‘Dazzle + Disrupt’ Duo Exhibition with Jeannie Driver, West Gallery, Quay Arts, IW (2021 date tbc), ‘Blast Wall’ Solo Exhibition, Foundry Gallery, Chelsea (14th May - 20th June 2021). ‘Island Fortress 1940: Britain’s War defences Then and Now’ Touring Exhibition; Cornwall’s Regimental Museum, Chepstow Museum and Royal Engineers Museum, Kent (2021 dates tbc). Continuing Summer and Autumn Exhibitions with RWS, Bankside Gallery, London, SW1

About: Lisa Traxler is a visual artist who works from her studio in St. Lawrence on the Isle of Wight. Lisa works across a range of media, including painting and sculpture, to address an ongoing fascination with defence architecture and materiality. Embracing two and three dimensional form and scale, Lisa’s studio is the base for designing and painting maquette, while her large sculptures utilise factory processes. Lisa works with enamelled steel, collaged paper and resin paper composite to construct and configure forms. Her work can be found in private and public collections throughout the UK, Hong Kong, New York, Australia and Italy.

Contact: lisa@lisatraxler.com lisatraxler.com Instagram: @lisa.traxler 

combination stencis colours painting forest