Isolde has described her re-photography as “close-ups” uncovering the materiality of consumer images as “produced” events in time, as well as transforming the social beauty of the female image into something extremely fragile and personal. This work is contrasted by a practice of non-objective painting in pairs of black and white abstractions. Sublime and cold, their highly reflective surfaces are as obstructive as the `scape’ of the painting is inviting. The viewer is aware of simultaneously looking in and looking out, reminding her that the image, infinite though it may seem, is just an illusion.
Isolde’s conceptual project pivots around the perceived elusiveness of photo-images and the reality of painting. In fact Isolde takes control of the image-making process and gives her photographs poignant immediacy. The woman in ecstasy – captured on film as a kind of pervasive media message – has as its real audience women looking at women. The phony ecstasy of the advertisement is paired with a demonstrable pleasure in the act of painting. But Isolde is aware of the facile ways that painting can seduce, too. Her subversive techniques of mirroring and duplicating paintings show that representation is never far behind any unique ordering of particles on a plane.
Nowhere is this clearer than in paintings with mirror glass fragments. Emanating a hundred reflections if they have one, these paintings awaken the viewer to brilliant consciousness of self and place—“becoming aware, and being aware of never being complete” (Kille). Instead of the viewer seizing the image of the painting, mirror paintings seize upon all they survey, fragments of images held inside fragments of the picture plane. Isolde has called these works healing devices – an open-ended painting that cannot help but re-interpret the world into itself.