Isla Hackney RWS

Isla aims to record the essence of what confronts her senses in the presence of nature at its most elemental. Sketching and documenting her subject and committing her observations to memory, she returns to a pared down approach back in the studio environment. Through my improvised and sustained engagement with materials and mark-making she tries to convey the sheer physicality of her original experience and a sense also of the monumental and furtive in nature.


Isla is interested in the way that the sweep and intensity of landscape can be evoked through an engagement with paint, its propensity to spread and settle into pools, to splatter when poured, and to run in unpredictable ways. Taking risks – allowing one colour to run into another, brushing over entire areas and then sponging out to retain only trace elements of what is below – is central to her work. I usually work on the floor of the studio with sketches and colour notes scattered around me. Rather than follow some preordained plan I prefer to improvise – the main lines of an image can be established by letting paint run across the page.