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The Power of Water Explored in Student’s Art

Art-X emerging artist evokes the movement of water by applying paint with her hands.


Art-X ‘emerging artist’ Isobel Loughran’s inspiration is the human form in water and the distortions created with that.

Selectors for the national exhibition and sale, organised and run by the Rotary Club of Greenmeadows, asked the second-year EIT degree student to submit up to three paintings.

Envisaging her entries as related works, Issy will be hanging them together.

The former Taradale High School pupil took up scholarships to study at university.

However, she says, “I’m close to my family and really missed home. I lived in a hall of residence flat but struggled with the lack of connection with lecturers and felt overwhelmed as one of 400 students in my first-year classes.”

At the start of the 2016 second semester, she spoke to Nigel Roberts, programme coordinator for EIT’s Bachelor of Visual Arts and Design, with a view to moving to ideaschool.

Issy was told that if she successfully completed her first year at university, she could cross-credit and complete EIT’s practice-based degree with a further two years of study.

“Here there is more connection with lecturers,” she says of EIT’s ideaschool. “I feel more comfortable with the smaller classes as well.”

The self-confessed perfectionist originally worked hard at creating realistic portraits but now enjoys a freer style. To achieve the effect of movement, Issy applies acrylic paint to MDF while adding detail with a paint brush.

Of her ‘water’ paintings, she says: “On the one hand, they are realistic depictions but they are not what bodies look like other than in water. The eye is tricked into thinking that’s the way it is.”

Long familiar with British artist David Hockney’s swimming pool paintings, she more recently discovered the work of American painter Iris Scott, who works with her fingers to create large-scale paintings.

Issy points to a favourite Scott work depicting a dog shaking itself dry, the swirl of flying water droplets caught by backlighting.

“She’s capturing movement, which I like. And it’s a different way of applying paint to a surface,” she says of similarly using her hands. “I really enjoy it.”

Surprised to have been chosen for Art-X, the 19-year-old says: “I get excited with any opportunity that’s about my art so it’s really nice to be asked.”

Emerging artist exhibitors at the 2016 Art-X, final-year ideaschool students Louis Aldridge and Darcy Whyte will also have works feature this year.

Following a gala opening night on Friday, 16 June, the 36th Art-X is open to the public in Napier’s Municipal Theatre from 17 June to 2 July.

© Scoop Media

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